In the USA, the century-old debate between “wets” and “drys” over the potential harmful effects of alcohol on health and society culminated in the National Prohibition Act of 1920.

This legislative experiment, intended to ameliorate social conditions, actually resulted in increased illegal activity and the substantial rise of violent, organized crime. Fed up with bootlegging, speakeasies and increasing gang violence, a Depression-weary populace voted to rescind the act in 1933.