Were Alcohol Classes and Medicinal Booze Prevalent During Prohibition?

by: Mike Miller

This is the sixth in a series of blogs here at onlinealcoholclass.com uncovering interesting tid-bits about the Volstead Act and the Prohibition Era in America.

As you realize prohibition laws were nearly impossible to enforce due to the many loopholes. Did you know that during Prohibition you could still purchase and use alcohol for medicinal purposes? I am not talking about a swan of alcohol on the skin prior to an injection, I am talking about the legal consumption of a fermented beverage for medicinal reasons.

The doctors medicinal alcohol business during Prohibition earned at least $40 million per year 9all combined. In most cases the doctors simply handed out blank prescription slips. It has been noted that James Doran, the US Prohibition Commissioner had to authorize the manufacture of an additional three million gallons of whiskey for medicinal purposes. This did not happen just once, but many times over the 14-year period. They never admitted it was because there were so many people drinking medicinal booze. Instead they said the supply was depleted from “evaporation.”

Was there anyone who was not consuming booze during this period? Who was complying with this law? We will continue to look at this interesting topic in future onlinealcoholclass.com blogs.