On Thursday, February 22, 2018, the Indiana State Senate passed a bill to permit sales of alcohol on Sundays. Sales will be permitted as soon as Governor Eric Holcomb the following week. Boozers are expected to be able to purchase a six-pack on their way home from church as early as March 4. The new law will apply to liquor stores, pharmacies, groceries and convenience stores.
Selling alcohol on Sunday has been against the law in Indiana since William Henry Harrison was President of the United States. The 1945 ban triggered thirsty crowds into flipping police cars. According to Title 7.1, Article 1 of Indiana Code 2017, it is illegal to sell alcohol from 3 am on Sundays until 7 am on Mondays.
The ban was enacted during the Prohibition era, when religious groups put pressure on lawmakers to keep Sunday set aside for worship. For years, the law persisted due to economic reasons; religion had little to do with it. Paradoxically, it was the liquor store lobby that labored to keep the ban in place. They objected to the potential for competition from big box stores and pharmacies. Booze-only shops were loathe to pay staff to work on Sundays. Anti-alcohol organizations also kept up the pressure to keep at least one day of the week alcohol-free.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for sacrificial weed to become legalized, though. Based on the length of time it has taken state legislators to overturn the 1945 ban, marijuana may not become legal until the year 2243.