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December 1933

21st Amendment Ratified, Prohibition Ended

 

December 5, 2017 marks 84 years since the United States ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and paved the way for the modern three-tier beverage alcohol system.

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WSWA Educational Foundation Announces Scholarship Winners

 

Seattle - A lawsuit was filed today in Cowlitz County against the State of Washington to prevent the implementation of Initiative 1183. The lawsuit charges that I-1183 violates provisions of the Washington State Constitution because it addresses more than one subject.
 
I-1183, passed in November, not only mandates the privatization of the sale and distribution of spirits by closing state liquor stores and the selling off of the state’s related assets, but also drastically changes the laws regarding the distribution and sale of wine, and alters the ability of the Liquor Control Board to regulate alcohol advertising.  Among the many changes that will be brought about by I-1183:
 
· I-1183 orders the Liquor Control Board to close all state liquor stores by June 1, 2012
· I-1183 acts to deregulate the wholesale and retail sale of wine and spirits
· I-1183 eliminates existing restrictions on liquor price advertising
 
“The basis of this lawsuit is deeply rooted in the simple and enduring American value of fair play,” explained attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Subit. “In this case I-1183 violates the single subject requirement for ballot initiatives in Washington. This most basic requirement is designed to protect the citizens of Washington from confusing and overreaching ballot questions. This can, and must, be corrected.”
 
Costco drafted the initiative and contributed a record-setting $22 million dollars to see it passed. They presented I-1183 as merely removing the state government from the business of selling alcohol. “But I-1183 is a Trojan horse that extends far beyond privatizing state liquor stores,” said plaintiff Jeff Uberuaga, owner of two Red Apple stores. “I-1183 creates an alcohol beverage system that is less regulated than anywhere else in the nation. This new system only benefits the largest retail chain stores to the detriment of a number of local businesses, their employees and consumers.”
 
“Worse yet,” stated plaintiff Dave Grumbois of Longview, “now that it has passed, we are already starting to see its negative effects. Many hard working men and women will lose their jobs under Costco’s bought and paid for new law. Those good paying jobs will not likely be replaced as Costco benefits from an unfair market advantage it created in its all-consuming pursuit of higher profit margins.”
 
“We need to make sure any changes we make to our liquor control system are in the best interest of our communities,” said plaintiff Jim Cooper, president of the Washington Association of Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention. “It’s important for the court to review I-1183 to ensure we have public policy that makes sense for all of Washington and that the constitutional process was not subverted by the proponents of I-1183.”

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