Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Privatization of liquor sales in Washington
Posted by Letters editor
The short end of the stick
I see the Legislature is considering leasing the state liquor system [“Money vision for liquor privatization varies wildly,” page one, April 11].
We have hamstrung our government to the point that they are considering anything that brings in short-term cash as opposed to sustainability and common sense — a sad consequence of the passage of the requirement for a two-thirds majority on tax issues.
This will also set us on the road to privatizing liquor sales.
I am not anti-“responsible consumption” and personally enjoy wine and the occasional sip of scotch, but I still value our system.
I have lived in several states. Washingtons’s system is the best system I have encountered, thus far, concerning rational control of alcohol.
State liquor stores contribute to state coffers and keep the sale of liquor regulated in clean, well-run stores where it is next to impossible that a sale is made to a minor.
How much will it cost the state to surveil the private sales? What is the cost of greater and easier access for minors as well as to adults? Why are there so many lobbyists hounding our Legislature for a cut of the action?
It is because they will be giving us the short end of the stick, making a large amount of money at our expense.
— Jerry Brownfield, Bellingham
What are we waiting for?
As a 25-year-old student, having worked many late-night jobs that leave little time for frivolous daytime errands like liquor-store runs, the prospect of having liquor available at local stores would be very convenient.
For those of us who have hours that are not in accordance with that of the local liquor store, it makes sense to increase convenience and use the funds to help the state out of a seemingly unending $5 billion budget deficit and cuts to health care.
If there is no increase in sales, the state will lose money, but maybe the Washington state Legislature should consider a five-to-10-year lease.
If a plan can be made so that local governments don’t suffer and while maintaining the status quo, the state won’t lose money.
This opportunity should be taken to increase the state’s revenues.
The fact is that other than legalizing marijuana for public sales, there seems to be few other options for increasing the state’s income. We have been debating both the idea of privatized liquor sales and legalizing marijuana as ways of increasing revenue for most of my life.
Isn’t it time that we took some action and actually tried one of these ideas?
— Rayna Thomas, Carlotta, Calif.
Let’s get it over with
I was surprised to read an entire article regarding the privatization of liquor sales that did not once mention public health.
I was led to believe, by your paper, our elected officials and community activists, that the privatization of liquor was strictly a question of taking care of us.
I am not getting that impression this time around. Maybe it’s because the state is broke. Maybe it’s because, this time, it’s the Democrats’ idea.
Maybe there is some other reason, but let’s get it done and finally get the state out of the booze business.
— Jim Gregson, Anchorage, Alaska
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