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Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

  • By: Robert Kenneth Sammons
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

In December 1917 the U.S. Congress moved closer toward the realization of a constitutional amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors. The ratification of this amendment cleared the states in January 1919, and took effect on January 16, 1920. The origins of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution can be traced back to the temperance movement in the 19th century and to attitudes and forces prevalent in earlier periods, including morality through evangelical faith, interest groups of organized citizens, and, of course, the forces of politics and economy. By the mid-1880s, the temperance movement had found a home in the legislatures of many states, but the process had been anything but smooth. Between 1851 and 1855, 13 states had passed anti-liquor laws; ...

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