PROHIBITION: Crime in Purchase?

There is nothing in the 18th Amendment or the Volstead Act to prevent any thirsty U. S. citizen from buying a drink. 'Leggers and speakeasy proprietors are lawbreakers only because they sell liquor and transport it. Their customers may be scofflaws but they are not criminals.

The distinction between buyer and seller may appear illogical, but the exemption of the liquor purchaser was not made carelessly, inadvertently. In 1918. when Prohibition enactment was being debated, Senator Hardwick of Georgia frightened Drys by proposing that pending liquor legislation should prohibit the purchase and use...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!