Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation
By Euan Wilson | Excerpted from the July 2009 Socionomist

Originally published under the title, “The Coming Collapse of a Modern Prohibition”

Many observers today view the legalization movement in America as inexorable. But only a few short years ago, few saw it as predictable.

In this remarkable July 2009 article, socionomist Euan Wilson made the case that a positively-trending social mood—indicated by a rising stock market—is what produces prohibition of recreational substances such as alcohol and marijuana, whereas a negatively-trending social mood—indicated by a falling stock market—produces relaxed regulation.

 Using the prohibition of alcohol as a parallel, Wilson predicted that the Drug War will become more violent and eventually collapse as social mood sours.

Here is an excerpt of what has become one of the Socionomic Institute’s more prescient articles.


Over the past 100 years, governmental activities have manifested changing attitudes. During periods of rising mood, policymakers stepped up regulation of cannabis. During periods of falling mood, they eased those same stances.

Figure 1

Each legislative attempt to restrict marijuana came during or at the peak of a bull market. In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. The law banned casual consumption of the drug and limited its use to specific medical and industrial purposes. Franklin Roosevelt signed the law at the top of a roaring bull market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average having quintupled from its 1932 low.

The real crackdown, however, came over a decade later during the massive wave III bull move.  The Boggs Act, which increased drug use penalties fourfold, and the Narcotics Control Act, which increased penalties another eightfold, both came during the most powerful portion of wave 3 of III of the bull market. …


During bear markets, pot users have enjoyed liberal social tolerance. Figure 1 illustrates that the government tends to allow—and in some cases encourage—the growing of marijuana during bear markets. In 1942, the year Cycle wave II bottomed, Congress launched its “Hemp for Victory” campaign to encourage farmers to grow the crop for industrial purposes related to the war effort. According to the Wall Street Journal, farmers planted over 50,000 acres of hemp in 1942 and 240,000 acres in 1943. In 1977, a bear market year, President Carter recommended that Congress legalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. …


In the remainder of this six-page article, see how author Euan Wilson meticulously compares the alcohol prohibition of the 1920s to the marijuana prohibition of the late great bull market. Learn what Wilson says will be the major battlegrounds of the increasingly bloody battle, and discover why Wilson claims the drug will eventually be decriminalized in America.

This article offers as a roadmap of the current legalization battle.

Want more content like this?

The Socionomist is the only monthly publication that offers you practical insights on the relationship between social mood, financial markets and cultural trends. Each issue warns you about big societal changes before they can harm you and reveals breakthrough opportunities emerging from trends in society.

Learn more about The Socionomist now.

(Socionomics Members: Log in for the full article and your complete, exclusive archive.)

Members of the Media: Contact our media relations desk at, (470) 892-2049, to request a copy of the study or to arrange an interview with one of the Institute’s researchers.

Socionomics InstituteThe Socionomist is a monthly online magazine designed to help readers see and capitalize on the waves of social mood that contantly occur throughout the world. It is published by the Socionomics Institute, Robert R. Prechter, president; Matt Lampert, editor-in-chief; Alyssa Hayden, editor; Alan Hall and Chuck Thompson, staff writers; Dave Allman and Pete Kendall, editorial direction; Chuck Thompson, production; Ben Hall, proofreader.

For subscription matters, contact Customer Care: Call 770-536-0309 (internationally) or 800-336-1618 (within the U.S.). Or email

We are always interested in guest submissions. Please email manuscripts and proposals to Chuck Thompson via Mailing address: P.O. Box 1618, Gainesville, Georgia, 30503, U.S.A. Phone 770-536-0309. Please consult the submission guidelines located at

For our latest offerings: Visit our website,, listing BOOKS, DVDs and more.

Correspondence is welcome, but volume of mail often precludes a reply. Whether it is a general inquiry, socionomics commentary or a research idea, you can email us at

Most economists, historians and sociologists presume that events determine society’s mood. But socionomics hypothesizes the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events, macroeconomic trends and even peace and war—are the products of a naturally occurring pattern of social-mood fluctuation. Such events, therefore, are not randomly distributed, as is commonly believed, but are in fact probabilistically predictable. Socionomics also posits that the stock market is the best available meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social mood, and that financial and economic decision-making are fundamentally different in that financial decisions are motivated by the herding impulse while economic choices are guided by supply and demand. For more information about socionomic theory, see (1) the text, The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior © 1999, by Robert Prechter; (2) the introductory documentary History's Hidden Engine; (3) the video Toward a New Science of Social Prediction, Prechter’s 2004 speech before the London School of Economics in which he presents evidence to support his socionomic hypothesis; and (4) the Socionomics Institute’s website, At no time will the Socionomics Institute make specific recommendations about a course of action for any specific person, and at no time may a reader, caller or viewer be justified in inferring that any such advice is intended.

All contents copyright © 2023 Socionomics Institute. All rights reserved. Feel free to quote, cite or review, giving full credit. Typos and other such errors may be corrected after initial posting.