Colorado Repealed Prohibition after Supporting It.

Long History

Colorado repealed Prohibition.The temperance movement has a long history in Colorado. The state began its own prohibition in 1916. That was four years before National Prohibition went into effect. Residents could not imagine that what was ahead. After experiencing the effects of the Noble Experiment, Colorado repealed Prohibition.

Prohibition was a belief that outlawing alcohol would lead to lower crime. To better health. To higher morality. And a better environment for young people. But the temperance movement also had a dark side.

Prohibitionists often linked alcohol with anyone who looked, spoke, or acted “foreign.” They had a fear of foreigners and “foreign ways.” This led many to vote support both statewide and National Prohibition.Colorado repealed prohibition

But many also joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). It was a new Klan formed largely to promote prohibition. It not only opposed foreign immigration but defended Prohibition. And sometimes by illegal force. It often worked with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

 Colorado Repealed Prohibition

Infringement of Rights

Many residents viewed Prohibition as an infringement of their right to enjoy a drink. It quickly became obvious that plenty of moonshiners and bootleggers would satisfy the demand.

Moonshine often contained toxic lead compounds from careless methods. As a result, consumers sometimes suffered paralysis, blindness or even death.


In order to operate, moonshiners and bootleggers had to bribe police and others. Corruption was widespread. It was just a cost of business. To the public, it was a serious decline in morality. It lowered respect for Prohibition. And for law in general.

Not all law enforcement officers were on the take. But many were known for their use of violence. For example, a 20-year-old Colorodian was beaten to death. It was by a Prohibition Bureau agent. It was in a dispute over a bottle of wine.

Prohibition also promoted the undesirable pattern of drinking. It less often but very heavily. People didn’t go to a speakeasy to savor a drink. They guzzled alcohol while they could. And to get drunk.


Soon, a majority of in the state came to believe a simple fact. It was that Prohibition made criminals of ordinary people. That it threatened health. It lowered morals. And it endangered young people. So voters suspended the state’s prohibition laws. Then, by a vote of two-to-one, they ratified the 21st Amendment. It was for Repeal.

But vestiges of temperance have long remained. Only a few years ago did the state abolish the old Blue law. It forbid the sale of alcohol on Sunday. Many other Prohibition-era laws continue to burden consumers.


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