Having grown up in Washington, I was used to liquor being monopolized via the State. Unlike California, where I live now, there would be an aisle dedicated to wine and beer at the local grocery store, but no spirits. Some states, like Oklahoma, haven’t even made it that far and are fighting for the right to be able to purchase wine in grocery stores. It would make sense, wouldn’t it? Who wants to make a special trip to the liquor store to pick up marsala or other wine for cooking, or a bottle of sauvignon blanc to sip on the back porch? Quite a few people apparently, and a few judges too as the petition narrowly passed 5-4.
Who wouldn’t want the petition to pass? Liquor retailers, of course, who will be gaining competition as well as other organizations, both who claim wine being widely available will increase the opportunity for alcohol abuse and underage drinking in Oklahoma. Yes! The kids! Won’t somebody think of the kids? I remember the days of my youth, hanging out in the parking lot of a grocery store asking strangers to buy me a bottle of Nero d’Avola.
Facetiousness aside, I do hope this passes. Even if it does, it won’t be too widespread. “The proposal would create a new retail wine license to permit the sale of wine by grocery stores, superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that have at least 25,000 square feet of floor space. Convenience stores would be excluded,” According to NewsOK. They continue, “Wine sales by grocery stores would be restricted to 15 Oklahoma counties with populations of more than 50,000 and would have to be approved in advance in countywide votes.”
Still, the group fighting for the petition, Oklahomans for Modern Laws, have a steep hill in front of them as they must collect 155,216 registered votes to get on the November 6 general election ballot.
What are your thoughts?