Moral Authority


To All Evils

 “The American people have said that they do not want any liquor sold, and they have said it emphatically by passing almost unanimously the constitutional amendment.”

 Andrew Volstead
U.S. House of Representatives

 “There’s as much chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a humming bird to fly to Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail”.

Morris Sheppard
U.S. Senator
Helped Volstead Write the Act







The Volstead Act was ratified by the U.S. Congress to implement the Prohibition Eighteen Amendment by defining the applicable regulations, processes and procedures for banning and controlling alcoholic beverages.

The Ambitious Regulatory Rules

Sec. 7. No one but a physician holding a permit to prescribe liquor shall issue any prescription for liquor. And no physician shall prescribe liquor unless after careful physical examination of the person for whose use such prescription is sought, or if such examination is found impracticable, then upon the best information obtainable, he in good faith believes that the use of such liquor as a medicine by such person is necessary and will afford relief to him from some known ailment. Not more than a pint of spirituous liquor to be taken internally shall be prescribed for use by the same person within any period of ten days and ~~~ prescription shall be filled more than once. Any pharmacist filling a prescription shall at the time indorse upon it over his own signature the word ”canceled,” together with the date when the liquor was delivered, and then make the same a part of the record that he is required to keep as herein provided.

Every physician who issues a prescription for liquor shall keep a record, alphabetically arranged in a book prescribed by the commissioner, which shall show the date of issue, amount prescribed, to whom issued, the purpose or ailment for which it is to be used and directions for use, stating the amount and frequency of the dose.

Sec. 8. The commissioner shall cause to be printed blanks for the prescriptions herein required, and he shall furnish the same, free of cost, to physicians holding permits to prescribe. The prescription blanks shall be printed in book form and shall be numbered consecutively from one to one hundred, and each book shall be given a number, and the stubs in each book shall carry the same numbers as and be copies of the prescriptions. The books containing such stubs shall be returned to the commissioner when the prescription blanks have been used, or sooner, if directed by the commissioner. All unused, mutilated, or defaced blanks shall be returned with the book. No physician shall prescribe and no pharmacist shall fill any prescription for liquor except on blanks so provided, except in cases of emergency, in which event a record and report shall be made and kept as in other cases.