Alcohol

Liquor Liberation in Washington State

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freedom!

Yesterday voters in Washington State smacked down the state liquor monopoly.

Thanks to a $22.7 million campaign headed up by Costco, grocery stores and other large retail establishments will soon be allowed to sell booze. What's particularly neat about the ballot measure was that it abolished not only the state's monopoly on retail, but on distribution as well. Liquor sellers will now be allowed to buy directly from distillers and warehouse their own inventory rather than going through the state.

And here's a little seen and unseen for you.

Seen:

Beginning next June, liquor sales will shift from the state to grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco. It means more than 900 state employees will lose their jobs, most of them workers at state-run liquor stores.

Unseen:

The state budgeting office figures the number of outlets selling liquor will jump from 328 to 1,428. It also expects the change to generate an average of $80 million more in annual revenue for the state and local governments over the next six years….Some liquor prices are expected to drop.

Plus bonus hilarious overstatement from vested interests:

Tom Geiger, communication director for the union representing more than 700 workers in state-run liquor stores, said he thought the results raised questions about democracy itself.

More on ridiculous attempts to protect alcohol monopolies nationwide.

And take note, Virginia. This is how it's done: