Nov 24 2008

What can President Obama do to help the U.S. wine industry?

Published by at 5:31 PM under News and Trends

What can President Obama do to help the U.S. wine industry?The biggest thing President Elect Barack Obama could do for the wine industry is remove all interstate trade barriers and allow wineries and retailers to ship to all 50 states from all 50 states.

The 21st amendment effectively handcuffed the free trade of wine by allowing each state the power to control the issues of liquor. Many states are stuck in their puritanical past with the notion of alcohol and treat it as it was the devil itself.  Allowing state control has crippled free trade for the wine industry. At this moment residents of IL are not legally allowed to order wine from any out of state retailer.

As a IL wine retailer, I am only allowed to ship to 33 states.  The 2005 Supreme Court decisions (MI & NY) over-turning wine shipping bans is a classic example. At face value, consumers would assume that this over-turn would allow them to purchase wine from anywhere they wanted, but in reality, this gave the states control of deciding an “all or nothing” shipping policy.  States were forced to decide between in state and interstate shipping, but unfortunately, some states decided to cut off all shipping.

I would like President Elect Obama to push for amending or repealing the 21st amendment and place federal controls on wine shipping laws. I would like him to allow consumers to buy wine from which ever state they choose. Free trade is the basis of our beautiful capitalistic society yet our liquor laws go against every grain of this. We need to be progressive, to break away from our puritanical past, and open state borders so that Americans can finally enjoy the freedom in their choice of wine!

Will we bring back witch hunting next?

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