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Monday, September 20, 2010

Get State Government Out of Liquor Sales

The forces arrayed against Initiatives 1100 and 1105 are lying through their teeth. They claim the initiatives will ruin small, privately owned wineries. Talk about fear mongering.

Wineries will be unaffected. Bottled wine is already sold through grocery stores and other licensed retailers. Taverns and restaurants already dispense wine by the glass or bottle. The distribution of wine will be unchanged.

The only thing the initiatives do is reduce the state's control of hard liquor sales through the State Liquor Control Board owned stores. Retailers would still be licensed and required to operate according to the rules. Liquor taxes are unaffected.

The State Liquor Control Board is an artifact of the national attempt in the 1920s to eliminate alcoholic beverages. The 18th Amendment prohibited sales of any sort of spirits and the Federal Volstead Act underscored prohibition with federal enforcement. 1920s government control of society was set to soar.

It didn't work out that way. Instead, gangsters got their foothold in American society. Nearly all modern crime problems and government gun control got started during the government's effort to change society morals.

When national Prohibition failed, the US Government recognized it and in 1934 repealed prohibition. Ever backwards, Olympia immediately instituted the State Liquor Control Board for control of -- and to profit from -- Demon Rum.

Its time to eliminate the State Liquor Control Board altogether and get the state out of the liquor trade. The legislature will still set liquor taxes. I-1100 will do this.

I-1105 is a half-hearted attempt which will close the State Liquor Control Board retail operations; the SLCB will still exist and administer prices and distribute profit. (That explains why the SLCB has never made any money)

The Impolite should vote for I-1100.

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