JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week you can buy a Powerball and Mega Millions lottery ticket without driving across the state border. Mississippi is one of few states with a sport book so you can place a legal wager on the Super Bowl this weekend.
But if you want to buy wine at the grocery store… forget it. Mississippi has an antiquated system when it comes to purchasing wine. In fact, the entire Alcohol Beverage Control model and warehouse structure in Mississippi, physically and logistically, are equally out of date.
The Republicans leading our state will tout that they are capitalists, but many should add a footnote… We’re capitalists if its capitalism that we like. For proof, look no further than past attempts to push this legislation when legislators protected liquor store owners and catered to their lobbyist buddies.
There is no good reason to not allow grocery stores to sell wine. In dozens and dozens and dozens of other states, grocery stores are selling all types of wine. Mississippi grocery operators already handle alcohol sales, selling beer and some light wines. It would simple to add all wine options to local grocery operations… and it would most likely mean lower prices for consumers.
Liquor store owners who are fighting this change will still have their monopoly on hard liquor. And since most grocery stores won’t stock high-end wines, liquor stores should also maintain the clientele looking for more expensive varietals.
The state needs to update the ABC structure, expand its warehouse operation, and pass legislation to allow wine in grocery stores. Prohibition in Mississippi ended in 1966. 54 years later it’s past time to change our antiquated laws. Republicans, who have a super majority, should stick to their beliefs and allow the free market work and let capitalism rule.