End of Prohibition did not = End of Smuggling

Ask anyone on the street and they’ll tell you Prohibition is a thing of the past. That’s not true. National Prohibition ended in 1933. However, individual states, counties, or towns could (and did) remain dry. So illegal liquor didn’t end with the end of Prohibition.

Dry counties and cities in yellow and red

Smuggling continued. Liquor was still smuggled into dry states. For example, Mississippi remained dry until 1966 and even today has many restrictions. Another reason for smuggling was to avoid the high taxes. By 1944, the tax on a gallon of liquor had risen to $9. If that doesn’t sound too high, adjusting it for inflation means a tax of $115 per gallon. As we have seen in recent times with cigarettes, high taxes lead to smuggling and smuggling leads to more serious crime. 

Today there are no dry states, but there are many dry counties and cities. 


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