Joel Vincent

Technology. Wine. Family. (maybe not in that order)

Prohibition redux?

There’s an good article summarizing why we can’t buy wine over the Internet over state lines (in many many places). Oddly enough, it comes to us from CNET.com – the technology review site.

Enjoy the Wine Life!

Prohibition redux?
November 8, 2004, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a lawsuit that will, if successful, permit American adults to freely buy beer and wine over the Internet.

It’s slightly bizarre to think that it takes the nation’s highest court to guarantee online shoppers the right to order a case of fine Merlot or Pinot Noir from California. You can thank a crowd of pusillanimous state legislators for that.

Dozens of state legislatures, including those of New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, and Michigan, have slapped severe restrictions on out-of-state shipments of alcohol. The culprits behind these rules: Lobbyists for beer and wine distributors, which currently enjoy profitable markups in the 25 percent range that they stand to lose if direct Internet shipping becomes legal and popular.

While this unfortunate situation may pad the bank accounts of distributors represented by the influential Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, it amounts to a tax on Internet shoppers.

Read more…

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