As many New Yorkers celebrate the state’s 1,000 craft beverage producers—double the amount of breweries, distilleries, and wineries since 2012—a slightly less fun kind of party is bubbling up. The New York Prohibition Party, founded in 1869 and dormant for nearly 80 years, is back in action.
The Party relaunched in September 2017 with a goal “to establish a lasting prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, to abolish the alcohol industry, and to establish a teetotal culture,” NYup.com reports. The group claims alcohol is unhealthy, unsafe, and expensive, costing the state $16 billion “in social, medical, and economic damages” each year.
Booze is big business in New York. The teetotaler agenda comes at a time when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is championing the craft alcohol industry, offering tax credits, grants, and other incentives to boost beer, wine, and spirits production in the state. This is seen in the rise of alcohol producers, and in improvements like allowing brewers and distillers to sell alcohol by the glass in their tasting rooms.
There are some admirable reforms on the Party’s agenda, such as abolishing the statute of limitations for rape and the sexual abuse of children, and “fixing the state’s education financing,” NYup.com reports.
But it mostly sounds like they’re upset Cuomo is spending so much state money on supporting alcohol they don’t want anyone to drink. Tough luck.
“Think NY Vote Dry” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as our preferred state motto: Think New York, Drink New York.