Free Market

Didn’t We Leave Prohibition Behind?


Earlier this week the Deseret News published an op-ed from the Sutherland Institute advocating some rather odd policies with regards to alcohol.

Clothed in a cloak of “compromise” were the following proposals:

  • Allow grocery stores to sell beer with a higher alcohol content than 3.2% online, but not in stores.
  • Add an additional, significant tax on the 3.2%+ beer sold by grocery stores online.
  • Ramp up enforcement of alcohol regulations using the revenue raised from the additional taxes.

In summary, more taxes and more regulation are being peddled as a proposed solution to the issue. We disagree with this approach and think that reducing onerous regulations is a superior solution.

The op-ed referred to any beer with a higher than 3.2% alcohol content as “heavy beer.” To the normal drinker, especially when talking about anything between 3.2% and 4.8%, this type of beer is just “normal” beer.

This is just one example of the prohibitionist style language used, something most of us thought we left behind as a society long ago.

The reality is that these types of arguments are meant to portray moderation, but the end goal is as close of a return to prohibition as possible.

Current prohibitionist policies allow government-owned liquor stores to sell beer above a certain alcohol limit, but not grocery stores and convenience stores. It’s time to move away from these arbitrary policies that were created just after prohibition ended over 85 years ago. As of this April, Utah will be one of only two states that restrict grocery stores to selling 3.2% alcohol.

Hopefully people will see through the biased studies and prohibitionist talking points to see the common sense in allowing grocery stores (and convenience stores) to sell up to 4.8% beer.

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