Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Two Buck Chuck: Screwy Maryland Alcohol Sale Laws

I was reminded of a Maryland law the other day that grocery stores cannot sell beer or wine except those grandfathered in. This means Trader Joes cannot sell two buck chuck and that I have to go to another store to purchase beer. I guess the side benefit is that there are lots of mom and pop corner stores that sell beer and wine. Some of these places are interesting like the one a few blocks away with Ethiopian dry goods, although the one on my block is basically a glorified keno (video bingo) parlor at least it has Sam Adams.

If you want to buy hard alcohol you have to go to the state liquor store that also sells beer and wine. Only as a local Silver Spring blog points out, you cannot buy a bottle opener, mixers, or cork screws. Currently, a law is being proposed which would allow those items, but to make the local mom and pop lobby happy state liquor stores would have to stop selling pretzels and soft drinks.

As someone who hates to go to multiple stores and likes cold beer and pretzels I oppose this bill. As an economist I would like to see more on if the banning of super markets from selling liquor actually has a positive impact.


rjgitter said...

Having been served Two Buck Chuck Cabernet Sauvignon recently, I think a case can be made for not allowing Trader Joe or anyone else being allowed to sell it. If we do allow sales, then perhaps they should be requied to put a Mr. Yuck sticker on it.

Only kidding above. Laws such as those in Maryland are strange and serve little purpose. I remember my wife, Seth's mother, having to illegally purchase wine for Passover because the store was not allowed to sell it till noon. What is the public's interest in preventing this transaction?

HolyKnitter said...
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