Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln, (1809-1865) 16th US President

Questionable Abraham Lincoln Quote

“Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.”

Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln
~ Abraham Lincoln

Questionable. Supposedly from a speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives . No source has been confirmed. Believed to have been written by former Mayor of Atlanta, Anti-Prohibition campaign manager, Col. John B. Goodwin, 1887
see: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lincoln.htm

Ratings and Comments

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

An example of clear thinking.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Prohibition does not address the root cause of a problem, only the consequences. As alcoholics may drink and drive, legislation lowers blood alcohol content, yet few citizens are alcoholics. As addicts may synthesize Meth, legislation registers over-the-counter antihistamines, yet few citizens are addicts. As violent criminals may assault you, legislation removes your “right to keep and bear arms”, yet few citizens are violent criminals. Prohibition is unreasonable.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

Millions are addicted to illicit drugs. Many more millions are addicted to legal drugs. Prohibition is a great idea that does not work. But drug abuse should certainly be a crime, as it has a direct damaging effect on much of society in various aspects. When Lincoln expressed this quote, the United States was not under concentrated attack by drug traffickers, as it is today. Drug traffickers should be shot on sight, even if they are members of Congress.

Liz, Atlanta, GA

Human have been using substances to alter their consciousness in one way or another for thousands of years. Making these substances illegal does not stop their use, it only creates a black market and makes the addicts that much more dangerous.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

I agree David. Let's just break the law to enforce it. And, while we're at it, why don't we just eliminate the right to a fair trial by a jury of one's peers and the right to face one's accuser(s). Let's eliminate the Bill of Rights altogether while we're at it - it's such an annoying impediment to the fun of summary executions in the town square. HEADSLAP! How COULD we have ever been so shortsighted as to think this 'Constitution' thing actually made any sense? Now that I've been alerted to the errors of my thinking, it's becoming amply clear that Saddam was on to a much better way after all. - LMFAO

Brenda, Miami

Is it possible to find the source for this quote? That would be very helpful...Thanks.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Brenda; "Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." - Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President. - Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

Brenda, Miami

Thank you, Terry! :)

Keith, Marysville, OH

Now that's a hot quote. "........and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes". That's a huge statement. Brings to mind the "hate crimes" bill. All crime is criminal. Period. And now you may be charged if you "think" homosexuality is aberrant? Or if your particular religion believes it's sin? Reminds of another quote about the abuses of liberty.

scotty bales, roanoke, kentucky

i completly agree

Denis, Concord, NH

GREAT quote... but probably never said by Lincoln. Background references: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lincoln.htm

Editor, Liberty Quotes

Thank you, Denis. It does appear that this popular quote may be false. We have updated the source info and will continue to research the history of this quote.

Boopie, NYC

Phhft, drugs are banned for a reason. They mess with your mind!

Honest Abe, Anonymous

Sure they say that it appears this quote is false. But let's not forget Lincoln was president centuries ago and was also the victim of a homicide. They also try to hide the fact that Lincoln was a Hemp smoker and farmer. As Cannabis was not made illegal until nearly 100 years after he died. I believe the quote is real and anyone who believes otherwise is trying to hide the truth about a man who spoke the truth and was killed for it! just like JFK!

Skywalker, Los Angeles

'Honest Abe' turned it into a conspiracy....it's probably fake, just like the Jefferson quote on corporations.

Mike, Norwalk

The statement on its face, very accurate.

cal, lewisville, tx

If ole Abe actually said this then I can agree with him, only those that do these things must suffer for their own actions.

Mike, Norwalk

In a Constitutionally limiting, guaranteed republican form of government (organized as a representative republic), the individual sovereign assumes among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle him. Said sovereign unites with other individual sovereigns of equal legal stature to form a body politic. That body politic derives its sovereignty by extension from its individual sovereigns (local, State, Federal, etc.). In like manner, servants have duties (no rights) at administering the protection and enhancement of a very narrow topic, grouping or sets of individual sovereign rights. Those narrow topics are: If an individual has no right or authority to act against another, neither can his representing servant. Compelled compliance, license and victimless crimes are felonious activities against humanity and the noble man’s being. Man’s lawful administrations are limited to life, liberty and property. Prohibiting any portion of life, liberty or property is a crime.

LIFE: The animated recognition of man’s nobility (originally being considered joint heirs with Christ / sons and daughters of the Eternal King). “It commences in contemplation of law generally as soon as the infant is able to stir in the mother's womb;” (1 Bl. Com. 129; 3 Inst. 50; Wood's Inst. 11 - Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) “The sum of the forces by which death is resisted” (Black’s Law Dictionary) Extending Black’s Law Dictionary definition to administrative harmony with justice man defines the existing natural law as 1st degree, 2nd degree, manslaughter, etc.

LIBERTY: “The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) Liberty is the “exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men.” (Blacks Law Dictionary 1st ed.) Liberty: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." (Thomas Jefferson) To prohibit liberty for any reason is a crime against humanity.

PROPERTY: Covering the full subject matter from perfected allodium / absolute ownership to larceny. “The right and interest which a man has in lands and chattels to the exclusion of others. (6 Binn. 98; 4 Pet. 511; 17 Johns. 283; 14 East, 370; 11 East, 290, 518) It is the right to enjoy and to dispose of certain things in the most absolute manner as he pleases,” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) Extending Bourvier’s Law Dictionary definition to administrative harmony with justice man defines the existing natural law as grand theft, petty theft, theft by deception, etc.

By reason, law and justice, attempts to control a man’s appetite by Prohibition Legislation is outside the bounds of a constitutionally limiting representative republic. Prohibition at law is antithetical to life, liberty and property.

E Archer, NYC

Wow, Mike! ;-)

jim k, Austin

This so called War on Drugs has been going on forever and guess what : people are still using drugs as often as before. It's time to end this costly monstrosty, way over time.

Ronw13, Oregon

Considering the messenger, yet Lincoln let the "cat" into the room, by siding against State and Individual Sovereignty.


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