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News & Press: Government Affairs

State Alcohol Regulation and Prohibition

Wednesday, September 30, 2015  
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Friday, Dec. 5, marks the anniversary to the end of Prohibition, which was the start of a state-based system of alcohol regulation. The state-based system supports a sound marketplace and public safety. On Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition ended in the United States when 36 states (the requisite three-fourths majority of the then 48 states) ratified the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment which began Prohibition in 1920.


For 80 years, the United States and its citizens have benefited from a state-based system of alcohol regulation, put in place following ratification of the 21st Amendment, which gives each state the primary authority to enact and enforce alcohol laws consistent with the desires and needs of its citizens.


“It’s important for citizens to understand that the repeal of the failed, one-size-fits-all policy of national Prohibition was not the end of the story – it’s where the story of today’s successful system began,” said Patrick Lynch, CAP Advisory Council member and former Rhode Island attorney general. “The 21st Amendment recognized that alcohol is a unique product that is best controlled by individual states, and it provided a solution that continues to be effective today.” “The state-based system of alcohol regulation has been extremely effective at supporting strong marketplace competition while at the same time promoting public safety,” Lynch continued.


“America does not experience large problems with bootlegging, counterfeit products or a black market, which were common during national Prohibition and have proven deadly in other parts of the world that lack an effective regulatory system for alcohol.” State alcohol regulation is a reform, not a Blue Law throwback. Remember your history and get it straight.

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