Unlike many other states in the Union, Virginia tightly regulates the sale of certain alcoholic beverages through state-run ABC stores. Compare this attitude to California, where one can purchase vodka, whiskey, and similar products in the local grocery stores. Of course, that is one of the results of federalism…each state can decide their own alcohol policy irrespective of the laws of other states. Naturally each state should have full control over these policies. Now if we could only get back full control of important areas such as education, welfare, and health care…but I digress.
The 26th’s own Senator Mark Obenshain looks to change our sales of alcohol by returning control of sales to private business. According to his new facebook group, Virginians for ABC Store Privatization, “If ever there was a time to challenge traditional notions about business as usual in Virginia, this is it!
There are certain core competencies of state government, but selling distilled spirits is not one of them. That’s why Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) has called for the divestiture of Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control-operated state stores, a proposal that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue at a time when the Commonwealth is struggling to balance its budget while offering consumers the increased selection and quality of service associated with private enterprise.
This effort can succeed only with grassroots support. Let’s take a stand for free enterprise. For truly limited and responsible government. We need your help. Join us in our effort to get the Commonwealth out of the distilled spirits business.”
I think that breaking the monopoly of state-run alcohol is a good idea for free enterprise and limited government and if it saves the state money, so much the better. However, I do wonder what will spring up in place of them. From my limited experiences, societies that respect and understand alcohol rather than fear and demonize them have fewer cases of alcohol abuse and alcohol related crime. It is the same with firearms. It is my hope that a law, such as one proposed by Senator Obenshain, will enable greater freedom and responsibility, but only time will tell. We should get the full text of the bill soon.