And I fully expect my friends at the Stranger to take this post in the spirit in which it is intended. Or in their case, the spirits.
No thanks, Goldy. Voted for it. Ballot already mailed, in fact.
I agree that voting no on both of these measures is the right choice. I don't necessarily agree that privatization is a bad thing, but I don't think that hard liquor should be readily available in any outlet willing to pony up the dough to get a license. Where I grew up, liquor sales were privatized, but you still needed to buy them in a store devoted specifically to alcohol. Seems like that might be a decent model here, since the state could just lease out the existing properties to private ventures and then sell licenses for expansion.
Can't comment on the issue at hand, as I don't live in your lovely State, but.....finally! A look at the pale underbelly of the Slog production facilities! Also, I didn't realize that I could probably apply for a job there, if I lived in Seattle, as I can totally hold my liquor, and I frequently wear platform shoes, so I wouldn't come in contact with the sticky floor--bonus!
Sorry, my selfish desire to purchase gigantic cheap bottles of Kirkland Signature vodka less than 10 minutes from my house instead of having to wait until I visit family in Phoenix renders me incapable of caring about predictions of an upsurge I teen drinking, alcoholism, etc. The Yes bubble has been filled, the inner and outer envelopes have been sealed, and postage has been affixed. NEXT.
Nope. Yes on 1100. Can't stand the current system any longer. And the state shouldn't be involved with liquor sales. They can tax the shit out of it if they so desire, but you should be able to buy liquor everywhere you can buy beer and wine.
Goldy is A. Birch Steen!
Your open invitation to my private wine yurt office is rescinded.

I think there's an argument to be made about the role of government. It's not just about convenience, but do we think it's appropriate for government to be playing this role in our society? Does this type of regulation provide a significant benefit to society in some way?

If you're worried about the issue of underage drinking specifically... why not just significantly increase the focus on enforcement (and retailer education) for private retailers? Why go to the trouble of having this system where government has a huge role in liquor distribution & sales? If you're worried about late night sales, why not pass a law that prohibits late night sales from private retailers?

Also, um, your link doesn't prove your point in that paragraph at all. I was expecting to see some studies about what has happened in other states who've liberalized liquor laws...
Nonsense. The existing system simply exploits this sort of sentiment to impose yet another luxury tax.
If the goal were to reduce consumption then the markups and taxes would be based on alcohol content, not wholesale price.
If the state really did have publis saftey in mind it would have shown this over the last several decades by creating a tax a markup policy that taxed cheap booze as heavily as pricey booze.
It's only when it's time to try to win supporters that they trot out this sort of thing as a serious concern.
It's not just convenience. The legislature knew that the State monopoly was widely hated and did nothing. We live in a referendum state, and if the legislature drags it's feet on a popular issue, you can expect a referendum. May not be the best way to get laws passed, but completely predictable that this would be on the ballot.
I'll drink to that!
I-1100 affects small businesses too. Wine shops, speciality beer stores, and yes, privately owned state liqour stores are not going to be able to compete with corporations purchasing mass amounts of alcohol directly from the manufacturer.
Cutting out the distributors, which this bill explicitly does, is going to make it extremely difficult for small businesses to get alcohol at a reasonable price. Alcohol prices in privately owned smaller shops, are going to go up, while Costco prices are going to drop like a rock. What do you think is going to happen? Hundreds of local businesses are going to drop dead because someone wanted booze cheaper, without looking at the real costs.

You won't have more variety, and if you do, it will be at a higher cost. Small manufacturers won't have a way of distributing their goods, and big box stores won't be interested in dealing directly with small manufacturers.

Small independently owned shops, who currently have specialty items now, will be driven out of business. Their big box competitors will grossly under cut their prices, because they won't have to be distributors fees.

It's a lose lose situation, unless you really REALLY like massive amounts cheap, low quality alcohol, at the cost of quality, state revenue, and diversity.

TLDR; I-1100 will drive nearly all small wine shops out of business. Vote NO!
Bravo Goldy! This is the first time I've disagreed with the SECB and I have been utterly dismayed at the lack of perspective. Thank you for speaking up.
I always thought that anti-civil liberties leftists were largely a European phenomena. I guess we have them here too.

You are aware that the 'what about the children' argument (essentially the anti-civil liberties argument you are making) is the exact same refrain favored by authoritarian social conservative jackasses the world over aren't you?
kinaidos @10,

You're totally wrong on the alcohol tax. It is an excise tax based on volume, not a sales tax based on price. You pay the same tax per unit on a bottle of cheap whiskey as you do on a pricey bottle of single malt scotch. Same as cigarettes and gasoline.
Maybe I slept through the details, but I still don't understand the argument that Washington stands to lose money on I-1100. Would it not reduce the State's overhead and increase liquor sales, while not eliminating the option to tax? Someone clue me in.

Alcohol is a lot more toxic and dangerous than is weed, so the idea of proliferating outlets is awful.
Sorry, still voting for it. I don't need a nanny state monopolizing the sale of and driving up the cost of liquor "because they really really need the money right now".
1100 keeps the taxes the same but the state will lose the revenue (profit) to the retailers. It's not a whole lot of money (just a few mil), but we can't afford it. I might vote for an 1100+ that increases the taxes to make up for the lost revenue. That won't happen through the legislature because of the damn Eyman thing which likely will pass. I might vote for it if the governor announced she would call a special session to seek an increase in liquor taxes.
@17 - He may have been wrong about the way alcohol was taxed, but, ironically, his point still applies.

His point was that if the state *really* wanted to manage drinking, they would tax cheaper liquor that is more readily abused at a higher rate than the premium liquor. As of now, the state taxes Monarch Vodka at the same rate as Grey Goose.
In my underage drinking and driving days I had no problem getting blind shitfaced on numerous cans of Carling's Black Label which was readily available from any grocery store and was quite a bit cheaper than booze.
Dougsf @18,

That's like saying that Costco would lose money by taking on the extra burden of selling liquor. The State Stores are operated at a profit, separate from the taxes they generate. That's the same profit Costco and other big retailers are after.
Starve the state! Make a nanny state liberal cry!
@16 Thank you, my thoughts exactly. Alaska taxes the hell out of liquor, and sells it in gas stations- yet the state still hasn't collapsed into alcohol fueled mayhem by children or otherwise... and the availability of booze definitely helps when having to talk about a certain ex-governor.

Top shelf liquor is vastly more marked up than bottom shelf. Shit, a year or two ago, the state partly balanced the budget by increasing the markup on top shelf liquor, with nominal increases on the price of bottom shelf. You are either deluded or lying.


What the fuck are you talking about? Specialty wine and beer stores already compete with big retailers, and they already can't/don't offer cheap wine and beer. I go to Bottleworks or 12th & Olive with the expectation that I can't get three-buck chuck there, in which case I'm going to those stores for quality. Nothing about this law is going to change that.
Goldy's right.

And if the SECB wasn't all high on MJ - a far less addictive drug that doesn't encourage violence - maybe we could have expected better.
Washington State's current liquor laws are archaic and unsustainable (in the long run).
Like Algernon, I'd be fine with increasing the liquor taxes to make it revenue neutral to the State.
Besides, I'm turned off by the beer distributors underwriting the huge media buy for No on both 1100 and 1105.
There are over 800 retail employees at the liquor stores, but just over 80 enforcement agents for every grocery store, bar, tavern and casino in WA. Thats insane Let stores do retail, and get the Liquor Board back on enforcement! Yes on 1100!
I'm voting yes. I sometimes start to get swayed by the lost state revenue argument, but as soon as I hear the "protect us from ourselves" argument, I remember why I'm voting for it. Thanks but I'll make my own adult decisions.
People drinking at home don't drive drunk. People drinking in bars do when they're trying to get back home.
Collin @22,

Well, I guess we can argue over the meaning of the word "rate," but because it is a volume based excise tax, cheap booze is taxed at a higher effective rate as a percentage of the retail price than premium liquor.
Sorry, Goldy, for once I could not disagree with you more. Already voted yes and mailed in my ballot. I don't see California, for example, collapsing under the weight of drunken drivers and shitfaced toddlers, but I can buy a bottle of decent vodka there for about half what I pay here, and I can buy it in the grocery store.

If it's necessary to regulate alcohol in this manner, then we should be regulating tobacco in precisely the same manner: only selling it in the state tobacco stores at prescribed hours, at a vast markup. Or aren't you worried about underage smoking and lung cancer deaths? What about the childrennnnn?
@26 Having done the majority of my underage drinking in Alaska, and a fair amount here, I think there is much more underage drinking done in Alaska than there is here.
olychick @30,

The reason we have so few enforcement officers is because the State Stores do such an effective job of enforcing themselves.

So now we're going to shut the State Stores, which have over 90% compliance, lose the revenue they generate, and then spend more money hiring more enforcement officers to try to deal with the 70% compliance rate at thousands of retailers.

Yeah, that makes sense.
@34 - given their current economic situation, I don't know if California is the best example you could be giving in support of cheap hard booze at the 7-11.
How about let's not increase the enforcement officers at all. Didn't you hear about that brilliant sting the WLCB pulled off on those dens of iniquity, art galleries? Seems kind of obvious they already have way too much time on their hands.
I told you about the folks here Goldy!

(I accidentally erased my first attempt at this)

I was just writing about the need for more police on the streets to respond the the larger numbers of alcohol related crime and how that will be taking money away from education, social services, and other services, like environomental protection. All this talk about civil freedoms and the nanny state is laughable relative to the likely long term outcomes to civil rights by a lot of extra cops.

I hadn't even thought about the increase in enforcement officers necessary!
@36 - We already trust grocery stores to sell beer and wine. We already trust bars to sell beer, wine, and booze. The societal effect of one of these bill passing will be close to zero.

WA state is already well above the national average in alcohol related traffic fatalities. If anything, I'd expect drunk driving to go DOWN, not up. Bars are the culprit there, not people drinking at home.
Hear, hear!

The Stranger's endorsement is based purely on some juvenile conception that they'll be able to buy booze for $2 wherever they want at 4:00 in the morning. The SEB seriously dropped the ball when it comes to the depth of analysis they seem to give to other political questions, no matter how local and pointless. ("Someone on the Seattle School Board scowled at someone else!" Front page stuff.)

Privatization is fine, but let's do it in a well thought out, orderly, and equitable way. That is, let our elected officials work this one out with input from all the parties.

1100 and 1105 are simply vehicles by which big businesses (Costco and Southern Wine and Spirits) are hijacking our referendum process to ride through a host of other more insidious structural changes that they couldn't get the courts or the legislature to go with them on. If the Stranger was doing its job we'd be hearing about the impact of the fine print hidden in these initiatives under a mask of "Liquor at Costco! Yeeehaw!" and not Cienna's (admittedly awesome sounding) wine yurt.

@37 - Alcohol revenue for CA's budget mess would be like putting a band-aid on a shrapnel victim.

CA's problem is the 2/3 majority required in their legislature to enact any new taxes. Luckily, WA wouldn't be stupid enough to go down THAT road ... right?
I enjoy a good cocktail as much as anyone and more than some, yet I voted no on both measures. None of the yes arguments convinced me. There are already plenty of people drunk on 40's pissing on my fence and sleeping under my back stairs without having cheap hard liquor avaialble, thank you very much.

You don't just give away the farm and expect to keep getting paid for the produce. Lower liquor costs mean lower tax revenue. Sorry folks, but we have to fund the state somehow.
@32: you realize that bars buy liquor from stores, just like the rest of us, right?
@41, the legislature has had ample opportunity to work this out in a thought out, orderly and equitable way. They seem to not be able to do this simple thing that is obvious residents want. Fuck them.
The only reason I am voting no is because of the loss of state revenue. However, if we somehow increased the tax on liquor to cover this loss I would be all for privatization.

This article is terrible and makes a lot of claims based on "studies" and yet the single "citation" links to an OPINION piece by the Seattle Times, written by a reverend, who also fails to provide any actual references to scientific study.

I don't care if the Stranger is a bunch of drunks that substitute real desks for stacked wine boxes. They are still much better writers and make more valid points than does the author of this article.
Goldy, your arguments are utterly unconvincing. You make it sound like people can't already buy alcohol in the form of beer and wine just about anywhere. Yes, it's true, beer and wine can get you drunk too!

I've spent extensive amounts of time all over the country and the world where you can pop into a convenience store and pick up a bottle of vodka. I want that here, because the way we do it now makes no sense me. As for the lost revenue? Am I supposed to be sad that the government is losing a source of revenue they shouldn't have had in the first place? They'll find a way to make up for it; trust me.

I was actually a little bit on the fence on this one, but these specious arguments have convinced me that we need to get this passed. Filling in the
@27 I-1100 does away with the requirement that all stores purchase alcohol through Distributors, which will lower alcohol prices even further for big box stores able to deal directly with alcohol manufacturers, in and out of state. This part of the law is highly ignored and will be CATASTROPHIC for small business owners who will likely have to increase prices as big box stores are able to drop them even further.
Wow, did you steal this verbatim from Joel Connelly? Because it reads like one of his screeds against something he doesn't like for some prudish reason.
@44 - Your point is what exactly?
Andy, just remember that this year's Eyman initiative will probably pass, putting a 2/3rds requirement on any tax measure, including one to make up the revenues lost due to liquor privatization. And with at least a third of the legislature composed of people who will never vote for a tax increase under any circumstance, and you've just put a major cripple into an already struggling state budget. Sorry, but I kinda like the state liquor stores. They work fine for the 2 - 3 times a year that I buy booze.
@24 - I don't think that's an apt analogy, as the state-owned liquor store system, and it's supporting distribution network, exist solely for the purpose of selling liquor, and is anachronistic to the supply chain of virtually any other consumable, vices and medication included.

It'd be more akin to only being able to buy books from the public library, with supporters claiming it'd keep smut out of the hand of children.
Nice work, Goldy. However, apparently the whiney-ass-titty-baby "convenience" argument along with, "No one tells me what to do, and the state selling liquor means they're telling me what to do so fuck them," is where this crowd is going.

It's hard to believe that a group like Stranger commenters are willing to hand Costco another 18 million or more dollars per year at the expense of the state, but there you have it.

You know what? We should privatize Worker's Comp insurance, too. I don't like the state telling me that I have to give them money in case I'm hurt on the job. Besides, the convenience of dealing with Premera or AIG would be much better than our current system.
@53 - you sound like you could use a drink.
Bu-bu-but won't someone think of the government!???!!
@53 So... using the reverse of your "what if we privatized x" argument... Why don't we make it so the government is the only one who can sell cigarettes? Or fast food? Or lottery tickets? Or pornography? Or Twinkies? Or any other product that one could argue might potentially have a negative effect on society?
This is all conjecture. You need to back up your claim with numbers, Goldy. Since the majority of the country has privatized liquor, it should be easy for you.
Goldy, would you support a bill that kept the taxes but expanded the availability to stores like Safeway and Costco?
Let's just get it all over with and do as Comrade Rossi wants.

And outsource all liquor sales to his comrades in Red China.

That's where all the jobs will be going, right?
Yay for Goldy!!
I don't really have anything to add to this except this: Fuck you, Goldy.
My 18 year old son called me yesterday to discuss this years ballot. After talking to him I realized that we are asking 18 - 20 year olds to vote on drinking laws.

"And it also means more underaged drinking..."

Which I think maybe interpreted by those in the 18 - 20 category as "if I vote yes I will have a better chance to get some booze at the corner store." Anti i1100 and i1105 are totally driving this.

Something to think about.

That all aside please stop wasting money on running state liquor stores and do something with social services,

I may not know what I'm talking about, but I thought that sin taxes would follow the liquor sales be them from state run liquor stores or 7-11. My understanding is that the current mark up is solely to pay for the cost of running the liquor business and not a "tax".
Goldy @17, how do you figure? I'm looking at the state price list right now, and I see a variable figure under "sales tax".

Bombay Dry English Gin, 0.75 L, $15.87, sales tax $6.08, total retail price $21.95.

Ardbeg Corryvrechan Scotch, 0.75 L, $68.15, sales tax $16.80, total retail price $84.95.

The percentage is 38.31% in the first instance, 24.65% in the second, but the numbers are not the same, so it's not simply volume OR percentage. It's frankly mystifying is what it is.
So many stats, not enough common sense.
Also: there isn't a damn thing in the world preventing the state legislature from

(a) increasing the tax on liquor to whatever amount it takes to make up any lost revenue, if any (which is probably none under 1100) and

(b) instituting a more serious fine for selling to underage persons, say, $50,000 and a one-year suspension of license. Think minimarts will be looking to go up against that?

The arguments presented about underage drinking can, and should -- indeed, MUST BE -- applied as well to the sale of beer and wine. And, my God, the bars and taverns -- why, ANY of them could be selling booze to your kids RIGHT THIS MINUTE! In order to protect public safety, we should BAN ALL LIQUOR ENTIRELY!

Oh, wait, we tried that. It was repealed almost EIGHTY YEARS AGO. That's the same time these idiotic stores were instituted. SHUT THEM DOWN NOW. LIQUOR IS A LEGAL PRODUCT.
OK Let me say that I am voting yes on 1100. This is just one small example of why:

4 of my friends called me up a few months ago and said "let's have a TV party and drink margaritas!" YES!

So I drive on my lunch break over to the 4th ave WSLCB. they have the tequilla, but they don't have the mini bottles of Grand Marnier. If I want that, I have to buy a fifth. Mini bottle is 3.95, what they have available is 34.95.

So now I go to the west seattle liquor store, after work for a special trip for a little fucking bottle of orange liquor. Pain in the ass. I notice that after work on Friday they are out of the tequila I bought at the 4th ave store in the West Seattle store.

Now I get to drive 2 more blocks over to hit Safeway for ice and margarita mix. Safeway here only has Strawberry mix, so I buy that for the one person that wants the fruitty shit, and then I drive to the admiral Safeway (now closed) to finally get the regular sweet and sour that normal people desire.

Safeway, if allowed, would have all of this in one location, and they might actually be motivated to keep everything in stock like a for profit business would. I spent around 60-80 minutes trying to get something that would have taken 10 in california. Get the state out of this business and let the free market run wild. Yeah, costco might make a profit. Good for them. So will 7-11, the russian mini mart, QFC etc.
This bullshit with the WSLCB stores reminds me of nothing so much as the COMPLETELY IDIOTIC fact that real Brie and Camembert cheese are illegal in the USA. That stuff you see in the supermarket, or even in real cheesemongers like DeLaurenti's or PFI, is not the real deal. The real deal is AGAINST THE LAW.

The incredibly stupid law, the kind that results from the notion that the best person to decide what kind of stuff I get to buy in my local store is some bureaucrat in the local Politburo.

For those of you who reflexively think "ooh, corporate, profit, bad", be aware that for the most part the ONLY kind of booze sold in the state of Washington today is produced by huge multinational corporations (Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Moet Hennessy between them own almost all of the common brands).

Meanwhile, hundreds of small producers around the world are for the most part locked out of the state, because the state isn't interested in even talking to people who can't fill all their stores.
Fnarf @65,

There's nothing stopping the legislature from increasing the tax, except their extreme tax-aversion and this Eyman measure which is going to ruin everything.

If 1100 were judged to be revenue-neutral I would have voted for it.
Fucking alcoholics.

Where's the story about the roll back in Tacoma?…
I'm a big fan of this and have already voted yes on 1100.

You may not realize this, but the selection available at our state liquor stores actually sucks. Sure, if you want fifty kinds of flavored vodka then you're set. But you can't walk into a state liquor store and be confident that you can find a bottle of Chartreuse or Benedictine. I haven't seen a single goddamn bottle of Benedictine in over a year because they dropped it in favor of the pre-mixed "B&B" line instead.

I want private liquor stores with an awesome selection of great new stuff, run by the kinds of passionate people that today operate wine stores. You can find great stores like that all over the country, but not in Washington state.

I can't believe we're even having this conversation. It makes no more sense than the arguments for keeping DADT, when armies around the world who accept gay servicepeople manage just fine. Apparently we're just too stupid here and have to be protected from ourselves.
Fnarf just misses Cane Sugar and wishes he could get real rum drinks like all the rest of the world does, where there is no embargo of Cuba and sugar "interests" aren't subsidized so they can pump corn-based rural crap down our arteries.

But changing it in this state won't change that. In fact, it will almost certainly make it worse, based on insider alcohol distribution stuff I've been reading (yes, it's behind a firewall, Fnarf so no you can't read it, you plebian).
Fnarf... we're both right about the taxes. There is both a $3.77/liter excise tax, and a 20.5% retail sales tax at the State Store.

Folks should keep in mind that WA has long had some of the highest alcohol taxes in the nation; that's part of what comes from not having a broad based income tax. So don't expect Costco to be able to come close to matching CA prices unless both I-1105 and Eyman's I-1053 both pass, in which case the state is totally fucked.

But at least we'll be able to drown our sorrow in cheap, convenient booze.
@71, AH HAH HAH HAH you made my day with that "insider" "firewall" business. You know fucking nothing about liquor or rum or sugar cane or Cuba or anything else.

If you are suggesting that there is rum anywhere in the world that is made from corn syrup you have added another sparkling gem to your collection of idiocies.

Most rum on the marketplace is of course made from neither corn nor sugarcane juice but from the molasses left over from the sugar process, except for a few products from the French West Indies, in particular Martinique, where you can spot them by the words "rhum agricole" on the label, indicating cane juice. Great stuff, much better than the various Cuban products we can't get, none of which are, as far as I can recall, are made from cane juice instead of molasses.

It's almost like you're inviting it, by ferreting out topics on which I am expert and then pumping in your unique mixture of idiot gas.

If you were a legitimate commenter, you would NEVER say things like "I know something you don't know, nyah nyah, it's behind a firewall" because that's an idiotic thing to say even if it is true (which it isn't). The idea is that here you SHARE your information or you shut up about it.

Did you get that part? SHUT UP.
The main takeaway I'm getting is that the state take on liquor is one of the main pillars keeping Washington out of the mire and we should all be drinking a hell of a lot more so we can balance the books again. Is that a reasonable conclusion?
@73 I'll tell Diageo PLC that at the next shareowner's meeting.

Most of the Net isn't accessible to you. You probably think nobody's using IPv6 and have no idea China is node-sitting on the best ones.

What does that have to do with ANYTHING? IPv6? What the hell? Are you seriously bragging about your fucking STOCK SHARES? Why? Tell us, Will, tell us what your stock shares mean. Tell us what your sooper-sekret access to shareholder information tells you.

Because if you can't, then it is a total mystery why you would bring it up, unless -- and this is key to understanding your psychosis -- the only thing you care about is scoring points off of me, and the conversation in this thread means nothing to you -- which, sadly, means you can never score a point, because NOBODY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT YOUR "INSIDER KNOWLEDGE".

Especially since you have made it as clear as you can that your insider knowledge amounts to NOTHING. If you with your insider knowledge still know less about this topic than a potted plant, then what good is it doing you?

But hey, go ahead and insist that Diageo's sekret shareholder website says that most rum outside of Cuba is made with corn syrup. Everyone who reads that statement of yours is laughing at you, dipshit. You're a jackass.

Why do you keep coming back for more when you know you can't win? Everybody here hates your stinking guts. Didn't you read that other thread? EVERYONE hates and scorns you, because you have made yourself into a stinking mass of garbage, for reasons that cannot be fathomed.

Corn syrup in rum. I'm going to say it again because it's so fucking funny: rum from corn syrup!

That's what you got from your magic firewall access. Corn syrup in rum.

That's the amazing thing: you claim credit for insider knowledge -- in fact, that's ALL you have to offer to this discussion, is "I have access to sekret stuff that you don't", which would be spectacularly rude if it was true -- and yet even WITH this knowledge you visibly know less than people without it.

Doesn't Costco and Safeway pay their employees "living wages"? And they employ more people than Wa. Liqour stores.? If Costco was trying to line their pockets more and only pay mini-mart wages I'd probably vote no. However...
Normally I just ignore all of WiS's posts... but... owning shares of a public company does not give you access to super secret information about that company or its products. It just... doesn't. Any member of the public has access to any filings that the company makes (here are the Diageo SEC filings).

The only way you have super secret information about Diageo is if you worked for them (or with them). Wait... I worked for Diageo in college. So I must have secret knowledge about them. Yes. I do. And my super insider knowledge tells me that WiS is full of poop.
The Colonel and I already voted for it. Mailed our ballots on Saturday. Voted straight SECB.

Can we stop talking about the election now?
If you dismantle the state run liquor stores, you have nowhere to easily sell what we hope to be legalized marijuana. Think, people.
Way to go. Unfortunately, very few people seem to believe in solidarity. I mean, fuck everyone else, fuck the traffic dead, fuck the abused kids whose life gets a little bit worse, fuck traffic. Just look at these comments, and it's the same all over.
Oh, and #6, buying cheap fucking alcohol isn't a fucking liberty. Fucking stupid people.

(WHY wouldn't an alcohol monopoly be the state's job if it plays a huge role in keeping safety and life quality up? More alcohol is BAD for society as a whole. The job of government is to improve society as a whole. Not . That. Hard. People.)
@81, why not ban this horrible substance altogether then? And why allow beer and wine -- both cheaper drunks than spirits -- to be allowed to be sold in minimarts? Or bars? Think it through, Anna. You know where you want to go with this. Just say it.
I would be more than happy to vote for something like this if we weren't already in the middle of major budget shortfalls. But we are, and I'm not willing to vote for any bill that takes dollars out of the budget.

Try me again in a few years.
Please. This is all a bunch of overwrought nonsense.

If this passes, We will still have zoning and still have law enforcement. We'll still have the redundant WSLCB enforcement arm. We'll have the neighborhood hand-wringers and pearl-clutters who will have hysterics every time a liquor store applies for a license and any time a child wanders into the liquor aisle at the grocery store.

The idea that we are going to have a liquor store on every corner is just stupid. The idea of us having more liquor stores than California is beyond stupid.

Believe me, this is not the end of the world.

If we can get our binge and underage drinking down to the same rate as California, lives will be saved.

Big Beer's obscene profits, or THE CHILDREN? I'll choose saving the lives of innocent babies over your disgusting beer profits. Murderers.
The artificial distinction between liquor, wine, and beer is beyond me. An alcoholic doesn't wander in to Safeway at midnight, see that there's no liquor and decide that wine or beer isn't good enough. He or she will drink what's handy. And having to drink 16 beers instead of a fifth of Monarch isn't going to slow the drunk down. If you've been around drunks you'll know that the alcohol disappears at an astonishing rate regardless of the form it takes. Keeping liquor out of private stores doesn't do shit to reduce alcohol abuse. Complete prohibition doesn't either. Education and treatment do.
David, David, David, I've always said you were a more talented writer than I am -- but only when we're talking about fiction, like you've written here:
more alcohol-related health costs, more domestic violence, more crime and more drunk driving fatalities. That's what's happened in other states that liberalized their liquor laws, and that's what will happen here.
You and the other opponents don't cite any actual studies or data to back this up, because there aren't any. In fact, for example, most states with private sector liquor sales have lower rates of underage drinking, DUI traffic deaths and other alcohol impacts than Washington. But don't let inconvenient facts intrude on your belief in G-vernment.

I knew that if I waited long enough I'd find you and Pastor Joe Fuiten on the same side of a faith-based issue!

And what now, are you going to change the name of "Drinking Liberally" to "Drinking Like a Church Lady?"

I'll tell you what: if I-1100 passes, I'll come back to the Montlake Tea House and buy you and Sandeep and Joel Connelly and Roger Rabbit as many rounds of Maker's Mark as you can hold without getting too excited.
I voted "no" because I love socialism. The WSLCB liquor stores are a great example of socialism that works extremely well - great passionate workers with (formerly) secure high-paying jobs.

Yes, the liquor stores should have expanded with more outlets, more products, and longer hours. Yes, the enforcement arm of the WSLCB makes some bad decisions.

Privatizing liquor sales is not a whole lot different than privatizing workers comp insurance. It hurts the government's ability to provide services, most people will notice a tiny benefit at most, some people will profit greatly, but some people will suffer tremendously.
The author of that article is a total moron but did make my yes choice even easier.
it depends on the person anyways...any person when starting has the ability to stop...or realize or hopefully have a friend to keep em balanced...ya ok we all know people destroy themselves and get addicted. it blows...theres rehab...its again another fact of life...your going to tell me indians have been smoking peyote for who knows how long *tho they cant drink alcohol typically whatever* and opium and shit was used as medication over a hundred years ago...

not saying everyone go get beer and do whatever...behave like a moron. doesnt mean fights dont happen but hey if its toe to toe and agreed upon...or your not getting yourself in jail forever or come on we know extremes...

that way...ya know and extremists exist. i cant speak for others...but life happens...better to learn your limits and shit than not.
@5 LMAO. Couldn't agree more.
To the submitter:

Shut the fuck up you teetotaling crack whore.

I still say they're stoned, not drunk.
Fnarf, I sort of want to give you a hug and stroke your fevered brow to soothe you, but on the other hand, then I wouldn't get to read your tirades when that nameless idiot gets on your last nerve. And that's kind of the highlight of my day.
Nice article! I'm voting no. @87 - You want numbers? State-run liquor store cashiers catch 94% of minors trying to buy booze (best in the country!), while privately-run store clerks selling beer & wine catch only about 75%. Alcohol outlet density is the biggest predictor of violence in a neighborhood, according to the AMA (…), and these initiatives would give us 5 liquor stores for every Starbucks. Vote NO!
Hey pugetsounder @95, you're drinking too much of the NO campaign's Kool-Aid.

Even if you accept the state liquor store's "94%" compliance rate, their failure rate is 6%. That's pretty lousy given that keeping alcohol out of the hands of kids is the most important job they claim to do. And it's far from the best in the country. For example, Washington sells to minors twice as often as Virginia, base on their reported 97% compliance (3% failure) rate. [source Virginia Alcohol Beverage Commission annual reports]

I've found no documentation for the claim that privately-run store clerks catch only 75% of minors, and I challenge the NO campaign to provide documentation from the liquor board or anybody else which proves that number is correct. I doubt that number is close to correct, but even if it is, it mostly reflects poorly on the liquor board, whose job it is to enforce the laws and otherwise work with licensees to improve compliance.

Besides which, the proof is in the pudding. Washington's underage drinking rate (based on Federal data) is still worse than the national average and the average in states with private sector liquor sales.

You are correct to use the term "alcohol outlet" in connection with the research on the AMA website. "Alcohol outlet" means any business that sells alcohol. Those studies don't distinguish between bars and retail stores that only sell beer and wine (and malt liquor) from retail stores that sell beer, wine and "hard liquor". Besides which, those studies only show correlation, which is not the same as causation.

Any other numbers you want to provide to prove your point?
@96 which part of FOUR TIMES THE VIOLATIONS don't you get, Sharksy?

Hate to have you putting the boot on Tim Eyman's car.
which part of FOUR TIMES THE VIOLATIONS don't you get, Sharksy?

The part that no documentation has been produced to support that claim.
Man you are a retard, if we loosen the regulations, it becomes less likely for kids to wanna do it to rebel like they do, look at other places that have laws like this, death rates are not higher, abuse rate is not higher etc (look at per capita before you say cali has higher rates, of course they have more people), kids still get booze one way or another, we did, never had an issue, if we wanted to get a 5th when in high school we could always find someone, its not that hard, it will create more state jobs as they will have to higher more enforcement (we only have about 6 in the state right now.) state still gets there taxes on booze and allows stores to draw more people witch means people are spending more money = more people will need to be hired = more jobs.
that 6 is supposed to be a 60
If it was your sidewalks they were going to piss on and puke on, that would be one thing - but it's mine.

And I've had enough shrubberies destroyed by drunks setting off other people's car alarms and then falling down, thanks.

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