261170 Control state politics: Is Costco victory in Washington a wake-up call for public health?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Michele Simon, JD, MPH , Eat Drink Politics, Oakland, CA
Ryan D. Treffers, JD , PIRE-Santa Cruz Office, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Santa Cruz, CA
State-based regulation of alcohol (guaranteed by the 21st Amendment) is critical to keeping underage drinking and adult over-consumption in check. Some powerful players in the alcohol industry are trying to undo decades of laws that were put into place after Prohibition for good reason: to protect public safety. Research shows states with government-run systems (control states) have lower rates of alcohol problems than those with privatized systems (license states). A big box retailer recently secured a huge victory in Washington State to privatize that state's control system. This loss is the first time any state has changed its control versus license status since Prohibition. Yet there has been little analysis by public health experts of the implications of such deregulation. This presentation will describe this dangerous trend and suggest counter-lobbying strategies to preserve effective state-based regulation of alcohol.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe loss in Washington State to Costco, other big box retailers 2) Explain serious implications of control states becoming privatized 3) Identify how public health advocates must respond to defend remaining states

Keywords: Alcohol, Politics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Many years of experience as alcohol policy expert and lawyer.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.