Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Editorials

March 12, 2012

'Moist law'

Still awaiting economic benefit to liquor sales

ASHLAND — Some opponents of “moist laws” like the ones that allow liquor-by-the-drink sales in large restaurants contend that the laws provide a “foot in the door” that leads to approval of broader sales of alcohol.

In some cases, they have been proven right. Corbin voters recently approved package stores after first limiting the sale of alcohol beverages to restaurants that seat at least 100 and receive at least 75 percent of their revenue from non-alcohol sales.

However, in nearby London — which also has a “moist law” — voters rejected a referendum to allow package stores by a vote of 958-801, a large enough margin to discourage efforts for another referendum. In fact, the results of special elections to expand the sale of alcohol in areas that are “moist” have been mixed. That tells us that voters are smart enough to make up their own minds on this issue. Those who like the large, chain restaurants that “moist” laws attract but oppose liquor stores and corner bars are being heard loud and clear in some cities and counties.

Voters in the previously dry precincts in Ashland and Boyd County overwhelmingly voted to go “moist” as did voters in Russell. However, while discussions are under way to expand much broader alcohol sales to all of Greenup County, we know of no plans to change the status quo in Boyd County. Our view is that people want to see more of the promised economic benefits from being “moist” before allowing more alcohol sales.

Will that happen? Maybe. But not now. The timing and the economy are not right.

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