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We all feel that we’ve made it through COVID-19. That’s right, 19. You know, because it first reared its head in 2019. More than two years ago.
Most of the people I’ve talked to about the epidemic reflect on what changed within them during this period of time. We learned more about ourselves, we came to appreciate the things that matter, we learned how to cope with immense hardship.
I think beyond anything we learned two things about life: It is difficult, and it is fragile. These are hard things for us to cope with.
Which, I think, has strengthened our relationship to alcohol, among other substances. Despite numerous challenges to retail, ABC sales went up by $60 million from FY 2019 to FY 2020 – when nearly every other form of business took a hit.
On top of that, remember that the South typically consumes more beer than liquor. Suffice to say, we learned a thing or two about drinking during this time.
I’m not saying that alcohol is the best answer to all of life’s problems. While it’s realistic of me to say that it’s a pretty dadgum good bandage for the boo-boos, it would be irresponsible of me to say that there’s no harm in it either.
All of that said, I do think it’s an inevitability. Throughout the country we are seeing common sense legislation regarding the legalization of marijuana – legislation that analyzes the balance of common sense versus safety, and maybe looks to find the line between the two. People are going to do what they need to do to get by, especially when things are hard.
So with the remainder of the country moving forward with marijuana legislation, why are we still stuck on over-legislating alcohol sales?
First off, obviously our state government is making a pretty penny off of keeping their hands in liquor sales. It’s a growing business, and if the government controls the business, then they can continue to inflate the price of alcohol. For all you non teetotallers out there, I highly recommend comparing your prices across the state line.
What makes it even sweeter is that we are the business owner who is paying for it. Our taxes keep the lights on and pay for the product, pay the landowners (or buy the land outright), while the state collects the immense profits from a growing business – especially now that there’s fewer restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Alabama than there ever have been.
Of course there’s the religious component. I will clarify as always, it is far from my intention to say anything judgmental about anyone’s faith. But the concept of limiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays is just downright illogical. It isn’t based in a Biblical understanding, since the Sabbath isn’t Biblically established to occur on Sundays anyway. I’m sure you, my angered reader, have opinions on this, but I am not particularly interested in this debate, as I doubt either of our minds will change.
Maybe I’m just ornery because gas is too expensive for an interstate booze run, but I find it silly to think that we restrict the sale of alcohol on the basis of morals or faith alone. If it cost our state money, they’d relinquish the right to us.
They’d get out of the free market capitalism that so many in charge like for us to think is their modus operandi (though it isn’t). They’d allow private businesses to stop having to compete with the trust fund baby of publicly funded enterprise. But they won’t; not yet. Because there’s still money to be made.
And Lord knows they ain’t gonna give it to us.