Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Texas Governor signs the law!

From PRNewswire, a follow-up to my March post on Texas:

Texas Governor Rick Perry yesterday signed SB 877, a bill authored by State Senator Frank Madla (D-San Antonio), which opens Texas by declaring the entire state "wet" for wine shipments. In late 2003, the Texas ABC declared that the state was "open" for direct shipments but ruled that all wineries must comply with existing wet/dry rules. This compliance requirement, since it could not be delineated based on zip codes or other standard geographic boundaries, had stymied the efforts of wineries to ship to Texas consumers. SB 877 solves this problem by declaring the entire state "wet" for wine shipments.

"We applaud Governor Perry, Senator Madla and the entire Texas legislaturefor addressing this problem and opening up the great state of Texas to the legal, regulated direct shipping of wine to consumers," said Robert P. Koch,President and CEO of the Wine Institute. "Declaring the entire state of Texas 'wet' for wine shipments is a strong signal of support for the local Texas wine industry and for consumer choice."

For those of you living in locales that never established "dry" (e.g., areas without any alcoholic beverages) and "wet" areas (where alcohol was/is allowed)...well, it's an odd concept even for those of us living in the USA.

Essentially, after the end of prohibition, certain areas of prohibitionists managed to pass local laws which in effect had banned alcoholic beverages (read that as ALL alcoholic beverages…the universal exception being sacramental wines). That was the slow erosion of our rights that I had mentioned in my March post regarding prohibition and Carrie Nation. Ever since repeal of the 18th Amendment, certain communities have tried to ressurect prohibition (or merely hang onto prohibition's rotting corpse).

Texas was one of those states, and even with this law still remains a dry/wet state in regards to liquor.

What this law does allow is the differentiation between liquor and wine. Liquor will still be subject to the Dry/Wet regulations, while wine will now be allowed throughout the great state. The lumping of wine into the same category as hard alcohol has always been a troubled issue, one which the puritanical prohibitionists have been happy to promote (their battle cry: “all alcohol is evil”).

With the removal of wine from this “universally evil” grouping, wine can now be regarded as the healthy beverage it is - one that compliments meals and is generally enjoyed in moderation. At least in Texas....


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