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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Washington Votes On Alcohol Privatization


In every state in the country alcohol is big business which requires a lot of oversight and control laws. Often times the state will control the distribution of liquor, to be dispensed in state owned liquor stores and by doing so the price of liquor is strictly controlled; in turn this helps control the amount of consumption as well. In the state of Washington a new bill is being voted on that would privatize liquor sales the same way beer and wine is sold. The alcohol watchdog group, Alcohol Justice, is strongly opposed to the new bill.

Ballots were sent by mail last week, and must be returned by November 8 and if it is passed this could generate a lot of revenue for the state. Meanwhile, alcohol distributors would take huge financial hits which have prompted them to vote against it. Naturally, behind the new bill is a huge corporation which stands to make millions if the proposed measure I-1183 is passed. Costco has spent millions of dollars on a campaign to pass the measure, which led to the collection of more than 360,000 signatures to help put it on the ballot.

Alcohol Justice says I-1183 will authorize five times as many alcohol retailers, this will lead to a jump in consumption and problem drinking. Alcohol Justice sited a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who made a recommendation against any the further privatization of alcohol sales in settings with current government control of retail sales. With any luck enough people will vote against the new measure.

“This finding is based on strong evidence that privatization results in increased per capita alcohol consumption, a well-established proxy for excessive consumption,” the CDC noted in the report.

The article notes Washington Governor Chris Gregoire opposes the measure.

Source:
Wall Street Journal

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