The Maryland Comptroller’s office finds kids aren’t really interested in buying wine on the internet.
But minors generally were not interested in abusing a direct-ship system to get an illegal fix, said Joseph Shapiro, spokesman for the comptroller’s office.
“Their number one concern is immediacy,” Shapiro said. “Your parents are going out of town this weekend, let’s have a party, that type of thing. With direct ship, the shipment just takes too long.”
And law enforcement agencies in states that allow direct-ship reported that wine is not the alcohol of choice for most underage drinkers.
“They’re more apt to be drinking beer or wine coolers,” said Shapiro, also pointing out the price concern. “A bottle of wine online is certainly more expensive than a six-pack of beer from the local store.”
The report also concluded that direct shipment from out-of-state wineries to Maryland consumers would not hurt in-state providers, because purchases from wineries are mostly motivated by availability.
Go figure. So the distributor lobby can’t argue that any longer. Which leaves them with arguing that it will hurt their business (and protecting their revenue is more important than the right of the people to purchase a product however they see fit), and of course spending lots and lots of money to purchase the votes, or at a minimum the non action, of our illustrious state legislators.
Del. Tom Hucker, D-Silver Spring, says he is drafting a bill for the General Assembly session starting next month. “It’s terrific that the report debunks the myth that special interests have been spreading for years,” said Hucker, who introduced the bill in 2008 and 2009, and served as a co-sponsor in the last General Assembly. “I think the comptroller’s report only pushes the ball forward, farther than it has ever been. This is the year we can expect some movement.”
Hopefully he can get it past Joan Carter Conway.
Crossposted at The Grand Crew