Uncorking Debate on Shipment Ban
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Rules about shipping wine into Maryland have led some connoisseurs to ignore possible legal repercussions and drive their drinks across state lines from Virginia and the District, where laws are more liberal. Many washingtonpost.com commenters defended the practice or urged relaxed rules.
djmonet: Here's a concept! How about letting the Maryland and Montgomery County wine and beer stores sell a broader range of companies? Right now, a small group (about five) alcohol distributors controls what all the stores can sell. That's why I shop in the District. Want the District to have my tax dollars? Your choice, Maryland "leaders."
jralger: How much tax revenue is Maryland losing from these purchases of expensive vintages from out of state? And by how much does Maryland need to otherwise raise its taxes because of this lost revenue?
bushido11: Both governments [Maryland and Montgomery County] pick and choose what laws they enforce, so I'm going to pick and choose what laws I'll obey.
anthonyr1978: If you want to have a more competitive free market in alcohol in Maryland, you also need to stop restricting multiple-chain licenses. . . . The wholesalers are the only ones who benefit from this because they know the independent retailers will never have the bargaining power of a Whole Foods or Wal-Mart, thus the wholesalers can maintain higher margins. It's no coincidence that Maryland is dominated by only a few large wholesalers, who have enormous economic influence in Annapolis.
jamessf1: How do you have a law on the books like this? So anyone who stops in the District or Virginia and picks up a case of wine to take home to Maryland could be fined $10,000 and [given a] prison sentence of up to five years. This is a clear sign that state officials are doing a very poor job. They need to get rid of these laws that are on the books and never enforced.
samsara15: Montgomery County, which has a county-run liquor monopoly, has always had a poor selection of wines, at high prices. . . . Why turn otherwise law-abiding citizens into scofflaws? We can't even legally ship wines from Maryland's own Elk Run Vineyards to our home or rare wines from large Baltimore retailers. It's galling to see other states with more modern laws.
arkygirl666: Great bootlegging by wine snobs! Like "Smokey and the Bandit" via Fed-Ex. Wouldn't it be great to see Sheriff Buford Pusser bust some yuppie in a Prius?
mac4700: While I appreciate that defenders of the status quo have a true economic stake at hand, I suggest they get into their horse and buggy, trot on over to grandma's and play the spinet till the lamplight burns low. That way, they won't notice time and opportunity passing them by.
foctorwhom: If a law is too statist for both the District and The Washington Post, then that's a pretty good sign that it's too statist, period.