21st Amendment

Passed by Congress: 20 February 1933
Ratified: 5 December 1933

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

The Twenty-first ended Prohibition by overturning the Eighteenth Amendment. The Eighteenth remains the only amendment ever repealed in its entirety; Prohibition really didn't work very well at all.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment grants to the states the unique right to regulate the use and distribution of alcohol within their borders. This meant that states that continued to support Prohibition after 1933 retained the authority to impose rules stricter than those of the national government.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

Section 3 imposed a time limit for ratification; if three-quarters of the states hadn't ratified it within seven years, it would have become void. Fortunately for anyone who enjoys the occasional beer or glass of wine, it took the states only about seven months to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment.

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