Pennsylvania has an ongoing debate about whether to privatize our state liquor stores, but advocates can’t really have it both ways and be logical. You can’t push to legalize pot by pointing out how much safer it is than alcohol, then insist, oh by the way, there should be less government control of how liquor is sold.
I’ve seen what booze can do to families and neighborhoods (and to the roadways). I don’t think your desire to pick up an inexpensive yet exuberant little Chilean red at the corner store is really all that important. Yes, I know, I’m not a drinker, but I don’t really see how the quality of life is affected by paying a few bucks more for something you don’t really need. And I really don’t think it’s a good idea that people get to buy booze in the middle of the night. Show me where some good has come of that.
“The common theme here is that if alcohol is more available, people tend to drink more,” said Robert Brewer, who leads the alcohol program in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. “So then the question is, where does privatization fit into that?”
The scientific studies reviewed by the task force – covering privatization of beer, wine, or liquor in seven states, two Canadian provinces, and Finland – found that privatizing sales generally results in more outlets for buying alcohol, Brewer said.
A separate study in Sweden, where the government took back control of sales of some types of beer, showed alcohol-related hospital admissions down across all groups, and the number of beer outlets down from 11,550 to 300.
Private stores also may have longer hours than state-owned stores, and may not be as aggressive about checking IDs, leading to increased drinking, said University of Victoria researcher Timothy Stockwell. Increased marketing is also a factor cited by researchers.
[…] Stockwell’s studies, which tracked alcohol consumption before and after privatization in British Columbia, suggest that for every 10 new liquor stores, there are one additional alcohol-related death and two hospitalizations.
If true, is it worth it? Might be more useful to talk about that instead of convenience.