2015 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Granholm decision, which ruled against two states’ laws that discriminated against out-of-state alcohol producers but also affirmed that “The three-tier system is unquestionably legitimate.” How has this “unquestionably legitimate” system fostered competition, increased new products available to consumers and worked to protect consumers and the public?
“The CAP Essay Contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation and its implications for citizens across the United States, ” said CAP Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning. “We can learn a lot from our nation’s history with alcohol, especially looking at the societal problems that led to national Prohibition and the public policy initiatives that were put in place following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and began today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation.”
WHO CAN ENTER: The contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of December 2015. Students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers and members of the general public are encouraged to submit essays.
DEADLINE: The deadline for entries is Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $5, 000, $2, 500 and $1, 000 respectively.
Read the winning essays from the 2014 Center for Alcohol Policy Essay Contest:
The topic of the 2014 contest was: “As states contemplate the legalization of prohibited products, like marijuana, what are some lessons policymakers and regulators can learn from the movement to end alcohol Prohibition in the 1930s?”
1st Place: Timothy Cuffman – The Twenty-first Amendment in the Twenty-first Century: Lessons for Cannabis Reform
Cuffman’s winning essay outlines the legal, social and geopolitical differences between national alcohol Prohibition and the present prohibition of cannabis. He explains, “While national alcohol Prohibition in the United States was a function of a constitutional amendment (with the corresponding Volstead Act that governed enforcement), the national prohibition of cannabis is simply a function of federal law (while many states have parallel state regulations). Consequently, the method of repeal is different in each case.”
Cuffman asserts that there are three lessons that present-day policymakers and reformers can derive from the movement to end Prohibition:
- If there is to be lasting and stable cannabis reform, it is necessary to repeal or reform cannabis policy at the national level rather than simply the state level.
- It is necessary to balance regional restriction with federal de-prohibition and restriction.
- Through substance regulation, it is necessary to balance individual freedoms with public interests.
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