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Thread: Please consider voting NO on State Ballot Question 1.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Please consider voting NO on State Ballot Question 1.

    I am enjoying the irony of sitting here at the computer with a glass of wine (Kim is my witness) asking you to consider voting NO on ballot Question 1 on Election Day. Question 1 would allow food stores (groceries, delis and convenience stores) to sell wine. I have discussed this issue with a number of our fellow residents. Those who are inclined to vote yes cite the convenience of not having to go to a liquor store to purchase wine and disgust with the liquor store merchants who are pouring resources into an "anti" campaign because they want to protect their profits. I share their disgust, but I am equally disgusted with the propaganda spread by the grocery stores both on television and at the checkout line in favor of Question 1, when they only want to increase their own profits. Make no mistake: this is not a "pro-consumer" issue, despite the fact that its passage would make alcohol more readily available to consumers and therefore (presumably) less expensive.

    The debate between the liquor stores and groceries is really about who will make the money from alcohol sales, not about helping the consumer. If it passes, we will all collectively lose, because the distribution of alcohol will be harder to control, and therefore it will necessarily end up in the hands of underage drinkers that are less likely to drink responsibly or even worse, more likely to drink and then drive.

    We want to pretend that Wayland is an innocent place, where kids play hard, work hard, and stay clean. The stark reality is that there are alcohol abuse issues that surface here with frightening regularity. On an almost annual basis, there are cases of very serious alcohol poisoning. Think kids don't drink wine? Think again, and if you don't believe me ask the folks at Wayland Youth and Family Services, who are left to deal with the fallout. Think kids don't drink and drive? While the SADD culture in Wayland is better than in many other places, there are instances of drinking and driving here. In fact, SADD originated in Wayland, before it spread to other towns and eventually went international, as a result of the drunk driving deaths of two teenagers.

    There is not a single person, anywhere, who can convince me that the passage of Question 1 will not result in more underage drunk drivers or binge drinkers. It only takes one misjudgment of one's condition or a single moment of self-denial to cause tragedy that will result in years or even generations of suffering.

    I am more than willing to be inconvenienced or pay a little more for wine to avoid that.
    Last edited by Ian Hecker; 11-08-2006 at 10:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Thumbs up Vote no on Question 1

    I also have decided to vote No on question 1, and hope others can see behind the ad campaigns as well. To me, it is especially the idea of a convenience stores and mini marts selling wine which is troublesome. The pro Question 1 ads never mention these other venues. They also highlight that Question 1 only deals with wine. But with the inclusion of convenience stores and mini marts as in the same category of food sales as supermarkets, it wouldn't surprise me if the sweet, syrupy wine coolers which could appeal to teens would also qualify as wine. Bottom line is to keep the alchohol less accessible to teens, period. Adult consumers should make the "sacrifice" of going to a liquor store, or a supermarket that already has the license to sell beer and wine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default I'm voting "No on 1", too

    Question 1 proponents want us to think that the wine sales would be constrained to grocery stores. But if you read the actual text, what defines an eligible venue depends on what the store sells (it's "fresh or processed meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, fresh fruit and produce, baked goods and baking ingredients, canned goods and dessert items"). It doesn't take much to qualify, and for convenience outlets that don't, it's probably no big deal to add a grocery item or two in order to qualify.

    The key issue for me is the difficulties that even well-intentioned stores have making mistakes selling to minors (remember the sting operation last year that found three Wayland stores selling to minors) - how much harder will it be to ensure quality control with convenience stores? and just with more outlets, regardless of how high quality each may be, how much harder will it be to police them?

    If we in Wayland don't allow any of these licenses, we can't think that neighboring towns will behave the same. And if we do, it's that much more work for our police force.

    I hadn't thought about wine coolers -- if they would be allowed (they would, wouldn't they?), they would clearly have under 21-appeal.

    What about convenience store employees and their ages? Does the law require people to be 21 to handle/sell the alcohol (as Whole Foods does)? If so, it would limit employment opportunities for high school and college students at convenience stores. If not, then in the absence of other people in the store - who's watching the watchmen?

    I'm totally OK with having what seem like dated, puritan laws regarding alcohol sales. Better safe than sorry.


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