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These comments are not solicited. These comments are collected from Letters to the Editor, websites and social media sites. These are real Kansans, most not connected to the alcohol industry in Kansas, who hope policy makers hear their voice. This page represents the real voices of Kansas.
Editorial, Lawrence Journal World
Granted, allowing liquor to be sold in grocery and convenience stores on the Kansas side might be a convenience for some, but it won’t address the tax issue that will keep many of those sales in Missouri. Missouri charges an excise tax of $2 per gallon on liquor, while Kansas charges an excise tax of $2.50 plus an enforcement tax of 8 percent on packaged liquor.
Lawrence Wetter, Columnist, Salina Journal
First, I say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Although I am not a significant consumer, and thus not vitally afected, I haven't heard of any widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo among consuming citzenry. Second, liquor, like tobacco, does not need to be widely available on the shelves of stores handling necessitties of life and frequented by young and old, most of whom I am guessing have no interest in it; and mnay of whome are morally opposed to its sale and consumption, anyway. Third, it seems to me that if it becomes law, it would impose a much increased load on law enforcement, for which we all pay. The "boys in blue" have plenty to do.
Donna Lippooldt, Kansas Family Policy Council
We believe that accessibility is just too much of a temptation for people who possibly have a propensity toward an alcohol problem, not to even mention the fact that it puts our youth at risk....
Let's say we have a young woman who in college had a drinking problem. Now she's a mom with some toddlers; she doesn't go to bars anymore -- she doesn't even walk into liquor stores.But let's say she needs to go get a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread -- and there's that bottle of gin [on the shelf]. We just don't think it's right, and we feel like we need to stand against this in the state of Kansas."
Gone Mild, Beer Blog
In principle, it’s easiest to see the side of those pushing for selling beer in mini-marts. It encourages competition, it allows those of us who like beer to find it in more places, and it would probably increase the tax revenue to the state. Economic freedom is generally a pretty good idea.
But that’s where reality steps in. In reality, liquor stores are some of the classic mom-and-pop small businesses that stand little chance of surviving when mega-corporations step in. In reality, that laid-back store you visit with the bell that tinkles when you open the door will get squeezed out by a corporate convenience store domiciled in Delaware pushing cardboard boxes of Natty Light along with a taquito, served up by minimum-wage servants while the profits go to international bank accounts. Reality is a lot uglier than theory.
I care about craft beer, not mega-brands, and that’s where things get tough to figure. In Colorado, they’ve been fighting this battle for years, and the craft brewers have lined up on the side of the status quo. Micro-breweries don’t get deals with Quik Trip or 7-11 – they get deals with the mom and pop store that is responsive to the local community. The big grocery store chains and convenience store chains aren’t going to carry their products – especially not the nano-brewery that can only crank out a few hundred barrels a year. Small stores are better for small brewers. Think small.
Personally, I line up on the side of the craft brewers. In the long run, I think that more employment and more revenue comes from more locally-produced goods and more locally-based retail. I think Kansas ought to reject the “liberalization” of its beer laws, save its small businesses and foster a market for the entrepreneurs with a brew kettle that may be hoping to make a go of it.
John D'Attoma, Leawood
Out-of-state owned convenience stores are urging the Kansas Legislature to let them sell hard liquor, strong beer and wine. These companies also want to change the law to allow teenage clerks (18- and 19-year-olds), to sell and handle these products.
Kansas retail liquor stores are locally owned. They are our neighbors and members of our community.
Kansas retailers know their customers and are responsible to the Community they live in. A clerk who is 21 years old or older in a current retail liquor store sincerely cares about not selling to a minor and the effects that will have on the community and business.
I doubt this will be the case with an 18-year-old high school senior working in an out-of-state owned convenience store. He could be more likely to sell to his peers.
The Kansas Legislature should say no to convenience store sales of liquor.
I’m not digging this UnCork Kansas campaign where the State of Kansas is considering to pretty much giving every Tom, Dick, & Harry the ability to acquire a liquor license. This means that if the bill passes every convenience store, grocery store, Wal Mart, dollar store, etc will all be trying to sell you alcohol. I feel the need to speak up from time to time when something is being done for the wrong reason or being done for the sake of greed, especially when it has a big potential downfall lurking in the shadows.
The only reason we are even having this discussion is because the big box stores want it all, even at the sake of driving out small businesses, thousands of jobs, & also with the chance that alcohol could become more widely available to our youth. I know, I know.. it’s a “tough economy” and it’s survival of the fittest, but I don’t think that the State of Kansas would be making the right decision if they decide to open up the flood gates and start selling hard alcohol on every street corner in order to make an insignificant amount of money. The amount of time the State will waste regulating this massive overhaul will cancel out any money they could possibly make. Especially if us “UnCorking Kansas” leads to more alcohol related crimes, accidents, and more deaths as it seems certain that it would. I guess if Kansas decides to “UnCork” I’ll just have to pay more tax dollars for them to regulate this while the big businesses fatten their pockets even more. Sounds like a win, win… for them.
I have to say.. I find it humorous that the group UnCork Kansas decided to use the slogan that reads “Restrict Minors, Not Adults.” The very reason for this slogan is in efforts to get us to simply overlook the potential issue of regulating/restricting minors when it comes to the increase of accessibility to alcohol on a much widened scale. Does UnCork Kansas think we are stupid? I think this was a very bad & tasteless slogan for them. Here are a few reasons why I believe alcohol would become more accessible to minors:
- Immature workers willing to sell to underage friends
- Busier environments(grocery stores, Wal Marts) make it easier for minors to blend in
- More chances for alcohol to be stolen by underage employees & underage consumers
- More chances for minors to seek out “adults” that look willing to buy them alcohol
Think back to what it was like to be a teenager. All we were worried about back then was showing off for our friends and fitting in. Back in middle school an upperclassmen used to pressure my friend into stealing pops for him at the local grocery store. He did it to fit in, he did it to feel cool, and he also did it because I didn’t want my ass kicked. Although I think it would be harder to steal a bottle of alcohol, it was very easy for him to find creative ways to get the pop out of the store without anyone noticing. Believe me when I say this.. if we UnCork Kansas, kids will find creative ways to get their hands on these accessible alcohol products. Peer pressure is a mother f^@ker.
These “big businesses” & those who back this bill have nothing but $$$$ dollar bills in mind. As I stated before, I don’t believe the amount of money is significant for Kansas after trying to regulate such a huge change. They’re not thinking about the impact it would have on our youth and the State of Kansas as a whole. PLUS, I’VE GROWN REALLY TIRED OF SEEING THEIR UNCORK KS ADS ON MY FACEBOOK THIS WHOLE WEEK! This just shows what kind of a budget these big businesses politicians are working with & they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. The only Kansans that will benefit from UnCork Kansas are the lazy people who can’t wait and extra 5 minutes to drive to the liquor store & also the big businesses who’s whole motto in my opinion is to get richer.. and let the poor get poorer. This will undoubtedly drive out a good amount of our local liquor stores & workers that we’ve developed relationships with over the years. Would you miss the 1 on 1 personable service you receive at liquor stores? What if you have a question about a product or if you would like to special order a bottle of wine or liquor? Do you think the “big box” stores would go out of the way to special order a certain bottle of wine or alcohol for you? I highly doubt it. Will these grocery store workers & convenience store clerks have the knowledge about types of alcohol as liquor store workers do? Well, I highly doubt that as well.
Where I do see the biggest impact would be the increase with alcohol related accidents, crimes, and even deaths among our youth. We already have a huge problem with underage drinking. Why enable them to see bottles of alcohol every where they go and every where they work? Also, think about those who have had alcohol problems in their lives. They’re already bombarded with alcohol advertising as it is. Why would you want a former alcoholic afraid to step foot in a grocery store or convenient store in fear that they’ll see that alcohol label they once loved so much staring at them every time they check out. I’d also rather keep drunks & alcoholics away from stumbling through my local grocery store for a number of different reasons. Alcohol addiction is a disease and a mental illness. This is nothing to mess around with people. Leave it to the professionals to regulate hard alcohol & let’s keep it separated from everything else we purchase. More alcohol = more problems = more sleepless nights. When it comes to UnCork Kansas, I say if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it. You might be in for way more than you bargained for if you do.
One more thing. Kansas is the core, the center, & I believe it to be the heart of the United States. I believe whatever we do here, can and will spread throughout the US. If the core changes their laws & way of life, the whole US could be effected. This UnCork Kansas thing could indeed lead to an increase in crime on a national scale. There seems to be a direct correlation between more alcohol sales sites & more neighborhood violence. We can’t stand for this. Think about all of this and ask yourself if “UnCork Kansas” is the route we should go. There are plenty of better ways to raise money where we don’t have to put so many people in jeopardy. We are in control of our own destiny. Let’s not let alcohol & crime get in the way of our future.