Back to our friends at Stopteendrinkingtn.org

The website changed its tune after Saturday’s post. It did read:

• Wine in Grocery Stores – This bill would put wine on the shelves of grocery and big box stores across the state – and right in the line of sight of any teenager entering their doors. The state Fiscal Review Committee estimates 6,000 new stores would apply to sell wine — more than 10X the number that can sell it today. The alcohol content of wine is 2X that of beer and, according to Associated Press reports, is only rising.

We commend them for finally citing a source to the first argument. We also think it’s important to provide the full report so that people can see the entire picture. Here it is:

Legislative Finance Committee report on SB3139

As presented, the bill would limit sales to municipalities where citizens have voted for package sales – there are about 85 of them. We have asked the committee to make sure the estimate uses the number of stores in only those municipalities so that everyone involved in this debate has the correct facts. There are even local ordinances limiting alcohol sales near churches, schools, etc. that would further reduce that number.

If the number is accurate, then so be it. Many of these stores already sell another product called “beer.” And, they sell beer responsibly. They card everyone who buys beer. They would card everyone buying wine if this legislation passes. Is there a bigger deterrent to a minor trying to buy alcohol beverages than knowing they would have to show proof of age?

And, that was just Sunday’s update. They have further refined their story today.

• Wine in Grocery Stores – This bill would put wine on the shelves of 6,000 grocery and big box stores across the state – and right in the line of sight of any teenager entering their doors. The alcohol content of wine is double that of beer, and studies show that more minors experiment with wine than beer.

That last sentence caught our attention. Once again, the website has failed to provide a source. What are they afraid of? Did they find the study in France?

Actually, we think we tracked down the study. It focuses on wine sales over the Internet. That is a different legislative issue entirely. The survey was commissioned by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. The stopteendrinkingtn.org folks failed to mention that the minors surveyed said one beverage leads both experimental consumption and frequent consumption. It’s called liquor. (source: UNDERAGE ALCOHOL ACCESS & CONSUMPTION — Internet, Phone, and Mail, pg. 18-19)

Sen. Doug Jackson is pretty mad at the sponsors behind stopteendrinkingtn.org.

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