Initiatives 1100 & 1105|
SHOULD THE STATE
get out of the
The ballot this fall will be filled with an array of initiatives and referenda. It can be difficult sorting out a biblical set of values relating to
many of the efforts around economic issues, taxes, spending and
insurance. There are also two initiatives, 1100 and 1105, regarding the sale of alcohol. These two alcohol related initiatives have an economic element, but for
Christians there is a societal aspect to these proposals as well. It is very likely that the initiatives will make alcohol dramatically cheaper and more accessible.
MORE ACCESSIBLE ALCOHOL?
Is that a good thing?
Initiatives 1100 and 1105 do away with state liquor stores. A lot of conservatives will drink to that. But they
also eliminate virtually all regulations regarding the sale of all
forms of alcohol, allowing big stores like Costco to buy beer, wine and
hard liquor directly from the manufacturer at volume discounts.
This deregulation will produce economic winners and losers which is why
you can expect to see millions spent on advertising for and against. Costco
and other big stores stand to gain while small neighborhood grocery
stores and small Washington brewers and wineries will lose. In some ways this battle is like the Iran-Iraq war. It was too bad somebody had to win.
At the same time, we have to consider the impact on society.
One can argue about the merits of the current system, and who will
benefit from deregulation and privatization, but one fact seems clear
enough: if these measures
pass, alcohol will become much less expensive and much more readily
available. If that happens, I presume the destructive effects of alcohol
will multiply in our society.
Is that a good thing?
these initiatives are adopted the state mark up on alcohol will be
eliminated and volume discounts for big retailers like Costco, which are
currently not allowed, will be available. That should result in beer,
wine, and hard liquor prices dropping dramatically if they pass the
cheaper acquisition costs on to the customers. Stores that sell liquor will likely increase.
MORE LIQUOR STORES?
Is that a good thing?
initiatives will allow every gas station, convenience store and
mini-mart currently selling beer and wine to sell hard liquor. Today there are 315 stores in Washington that sell hard liquor. The initiatives will open to door to at least 3,300, and perhaps as many as 5,000, hard liquor retailers. Hard liquor will be available from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Because corporations who will sell the liquor wrote the initiatives, Washington State will be the least regulated state in the nation for hard liquor sales. Under these initiatives, we will have twice as many liquor outlets per capita compared to California.
I know Libertarians will think casting off laws is great.Will this casting off of laws also make our roads safer and will my life and theirs be more secure? There
is an additional danger in dropping the regulations.
considerable danger of increasing underage drinking, DUI, and problem
drinking. Here is why:
really want anyone, and PARTICULARLY KIDS, being able to drive their car to a gas station to buy drinks that can rapidly propel them to drunkenness?
- The State Liquor stores have a 94% compliance
with prohibited sales of alcohol to minors.
- Other stores that currently
sell alcohol average around 75% compliance.
- A lot more alcohol,
especially hard liquor, is likely to slip into the hands of underage
- The main difference between beer and wine compared to the hard
liquors is the much higher level of alcohol in hard liquor.
I suspect that most Libertarians and many conservatives will jump at the chance to diminish the number of laws and to take something away from the state. I would urge a little caution here.
As a Christian conservative, I am not against law. I am against unjust and immoral laws. I am against laws that contribute to the harm of people's lives. I don't believe the use of alcohol is necessarily a sin but I know that drunkenness is.
I am not advocating for a return to prohibition but I have to ask if Washington wants to become the least regulated state in the Union regarding alcohol purchases? There are way too many drunk drivers as it is. I fear these initiatives will make matters worse.
I hope you will join me in voting
NO on I-1100 & I-1105.
Cheaper, more accessible alcohol is
NOT a GOOD thing!