(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Regarding the Jan. 17 editorial “A dubious wine law”:

Expression of diverse viewpoints can be a positive thing. The 21st Amendment ended the failed experiment of national Prohibition and decentralized federal control of the alcohol marketplace, giving states the right to regulate alcohol in accordance with local customs, needs and social sensitivities. By design, alcohol laws are reliably non-homogenous.

Alcohol, as an intoxicant, is different from other products and requires a distribution and sales system that guarantees extra caution and care be taken to promote a healthy marketplace and protect consumers and non-consumers alike.

Because legislative needs and policies are unique to all 50 states and the District, it’s critical to support states’ rights under the 21st Amendment and keep decisions in the hands of state legislatures and local regulators, who understand their communities best. Sometimes, local residents would like the party selling liquor to have a vested interest in the local community to ensure regulatory oversight and responsible sales. And we believe that a state’s residents have every right, through the legislative process, to express this.

Michelle Korsmo, Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.