Maryland and Texas Wine Lovers Persist on Interstate Shipments

Feb 05, 2002
George Anderson

A bill introduced in the Maryland Senate would crack the seal on legislation currently prohibiting consumers from ordering wine from out-of-state sources, including boutique wineries and wine clubs, as a felony. Maryland’s alcohol control agency, and organizations representing the state’s alcohol wholesalers and retailers, blocked two similar bills in the past. They are open to the latest version, which requires a Maryland wholesaler to deliver the order to a retail outlet, an annual $10 shipping license for the out-of-state winery, and a $7 to $14 handling fee that may be passed along to the customer. Meanwhile, in Texas, a group of wine consumers has filed a supplemental motion to an earlier lawsuit, challenging that state’s ban on shipping out-of-state wines directly to consumers as being unconstitutional.

Moderator Comment: Should there be a prohibition
on direct delivery of alcoholic products from an out-of-state location?

As an active member of the tea totalers’ society, I can
not claim to have any emotional connection to wine or any other alcoholic product
for that matter.

I do have an emotional connection to libertarian thought,
however. It tells me that if I want to order wine from any place on the planet
and have it delivered that I should be able to do just that.

It should be the responsibility of parents to make sure
that abuses of this liberty (kids ordering alcohol) do not take place. That
does not mean that there will not be cracks in the system.

Visit delis in Brooklyn on a Saturday night and you will
find a large number of under 21s hanging out in the vicinity. Folks, they are
not there for the cold cuts.

One need only look as far as Washington, DC and the Bush
family to see that borrowed Ids are not tough to come by. Laura Bush should
be able to order wine from California or New York. She should also be able to
have it delivered directly to the Bush family ranch in Texas. (We should leave
looking after the twins to she, her husband and the Secret Service.) [George Anderson – Moderator]

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