Sin Tax-and-Regulate or State Monopoly? NC bill would tighten.

To control and derive revenue from recreational substances, the public faces a choice.  For liquor, some 17 states choose monopoly over taxed, regulated private sales.  It’s awfully hard to switch from private sales to monopoly, but a House Bill 782 in North Carolina would do just that for fortified malt beverages and fortified wine – problem drinks for young folks.  Bravo to this bipartisan effort.  Good luck with that.

Here’s the full story:

Wanda Boone, founder of the nonprofit Durham Together for Resilient Youth, is pleased with a bill to restrict fortified alcohol sales to ABC stores.

“These products are highly attractive to youth consumers,” Boone said in a prepared statement Friday, adding that convenience stores are a major source for youngsters obtaining high-alcohol drinks.

House Bill 782, introduced by House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, a Republican from Caldwell County, and co-sponsored by Democrat Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham, mandates ABC-store-only sales for fortified malt beverages and fortified wine. The bill passed its first reading Thursday in the House committee on rules, calendar and operations.

“There is no safer place for these beverages than our North Carolina ABC stores,” Boone said. “Additionally, these products put our low-wealth communities in great harm. These communities that already have high concentrations of alcohol outlets … do not need these dangerous alcoholic products on every street corner, worsening the myriad problems.”



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