Deception & Lies

"we support regulations that will help protect our ability to stop
dangerous products from reaching consumers and alcohol from falling
into the hands of minors, both of which are the driving force behind HB

Mike Lashbrook, President, Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesales Association

What we have here is a classic bit of deception of the type we've seen surround the issue of direct shipping for 20 years.

HB 6644 would remove the current right of Michigan retailers to ship wine to Michigan residents in order to assure Michiganders can be barred in a constitutionally-correct way from purchasing wine from out-of-state retailers. It's called "leveling down". The bill is a response to a recent Michigan Federal Court decision that determined that Michigan's prohibition on out-of-state retailer shipping, while allowing shipping from in-state retailers.

Mike Lashbrook is suggesting that 1) direct shipment of wine leads to minors obtaining alcohol and 2) that out-of-state shippers are likely to deliver "dangerous" products to consumers. Please note that he provides no evidence that this either of these things are a problem or ever have been a problem.

In fact, no member of law enforcement and no member of any alcohol regulatory body has ever stated or shown that they have encountered either of these problems over the past 20 years.
In addition, both the Supreme Court of the United States as well as the Federal Trade Commission, both of whom have examined these claims, have found them without Merit.

It's bad enough that Mr. Lashbrook knows his claims are without merit. It's worse that he knows they are yet would still make the claims.

Michigan allows in-state wineries, in-state retailers and out-of-state wineries to ship direct to the Michigan residents. The only argument Mr. Lashbrook can muster to justify the move to shut down all retailer shipping is set of lies.

If Mr. Lashbrook were really concerned about minors obtaining alcohol, he'd be calling for a prohibition on the sale of alcohol via brick and mortar stores, where the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and he both know minors obtain alcohol on a daily basis.

Of course he is not concerned about minors obtaining alcohol. He's concerned about protecting wholesalers' state-mandated profits at the expense of Michigan businesses and free trade.


2 Responses

  1. Dylan - December 8, 2008

    What does that even mean, “dangerous products”? At least the underage drinking issue makes a little sense. To someone unfamiliar with the statistics for direct shipping and that issue, it seems feasible–but I don’t even understand the other one. Does he mean to say the products become faulty or unsafe over the course of shipment?

  2. Thomas Pellechia - December 8, 2008

    Be on the lookout for one or two “stings” in Michigan.
    They have to trump up an event to support the argument, and there’s always a sheriff or two willing to help out.

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