In an attempt to enforce Prohibition, the Prohibition Bureau began adding poison to industrial alcohol to prevent its consumption, killing between 10,000 and 50,000 people. This was supported by people like Wayne Wheeler, who argued that the victims had committed suicide by breaking the law
In the early 1920s, Wheeler’s power was at its zenith. He was involved in drafting the Volstead Act, which provided the means for enforcing the prohibition amendment, as well as federal and state laws that refined prohibition’s enforcement mechanisms. Candidates who ran with ASL backing controlled state governments and the U.S. Congress. In addition, Wheeler’s influence extended to the Bureau of Prohibition, which gave him control of a patronage operation that hired the enforcement officers responsible for identifying and apprehending illicit alcohol makers, distributors and sellers.
Decline of influence
The desire for alcohol among Americans did not dissipate as Wheeler had envisioned would occur after passage of the Eighteent… Continue Reading