Attack of the Stupid Wine Legislation
Maine legislators have once again taken it upon themselves to protect their state's children from any possible exposure to alcohol. Let's hear it for them. This one is particularly absurd
A new law goes into effect on September 12 that will prohibit children from observing wine, beer or alcohol tastings. The new "Blind Wine" law was passed in response to another law that was passed which would have allowed wine, beer and spirit tastings in off premise establishments (grocery stores and wine shops, for example). The language reads: "Taste-testing activities must be conducted in a manner that precludes the possibility of observation by children."
According to Maine State Representative David Webster, "I and a number of other legislators were concerned regarding the
idea that grocery stores will have families going into them to shop and
seeing adults standing around drinking hard liquor."
And you know what that leads to right? Crack Cocaine use. You betcha.
The problem with Representative Webster's explanation for his ludicrous legislation is that he does not accompany it with any explanation as to why a child seeing someone sip wine or bourbon might cause so much harm to that child that their must be legal blinders placed over the children's eyes. In all fairness, that part of his explanation to the reporter in the story linked above may have been edited out. But still, I can't imagine what that explanation would be. Let's try some out and see what we get.
1. When children observe adults sipping wine, they immediately become 50% more predisposed to becoming alcoholics. NAW.
2. When children observe adults sipping wine in a grocery store, they become much more likely to take a soft drink off the shelf and begin drinking it without paying for it. NOPE
3. When Children observe adults sipping wine in a retail setting, they are likely to fall over into a catatonic state. HUH UH!
4. Maine Legislators bowed to pressure from temperance organizations who claimed any exposure to drinking was bad for children, presumably because drinking, in any form is bad, and those legislators realize no politician ever got voted out of office for supporting any law, be it dumb, stupid or unsupportable with logic, that claimed to protect children. BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER.
Apparently this logic only works with alcohol. Out of four siblings in my family, three of us watched our folks smoke cigarettes and none of us picked up the habit, with the exception of the youngest sibling and by the time she was born, the parents had stopped the habit.
But then again, this logic must not work with pot either. I wonder if the Wholesalers of Maine…oops…I mean the State of Maine can explain why millions of kids in the 1960’s took up smoking pot, yet never saw their parents roll a joint or take a hit.
Shame on your Maine for trying to insult people’s intelligence.
I’m glad this story is getting picked up outside Maine, although I’m not sure it will do any good. The whole thing started with legislation that would have liberalized Maine’s tasting laws, which are quite restrictive. I testified before a legislative committee on a bill that would have removed the current once-a-month tasting limit. At that hearing, the issue of children seeing adults tasting wine at grocery stores reared its head.
Then there was another bill that would open tastings up to beer and hard liquor. At the last minute, the “no child” amendment was added to that bill, and the bill was passed just before the legislature adjourned for the year.
Anyone interested can read the story I wrote shortly before the Maine dailies picked it up.
Can we take it to the next level and make sure adults can no longer drink if any children are at a restaurant? What if the person at the table next to them is having a beer with their hamburger? Weird….I guess they’re moving slowly toward being a dry state!
Wine of Month Club,
Something like that occurs down here in the South. Not everywhere, but I’ve been in restaurants where the bar is a separate room down a hallway, and drinks are not allowed in the dining room. So you’ll see grandpa get up and announce he’s going to the restroom, and he has a shot of Jack at the bar out of sight of the women and children. Ditto for the habit of heading out to the woodshed to look at some tools–no alcohol allowed in the house, so the menfolk keep it in the shed.
Hell, both my parents were ax murderers and as a child, they took me to watch them do it…
Tom, you know that Maine was the first state to enact prohibition legislation in the early 20th century, which started the ball rolling for other states to follow suit.
Amazing that there’s so little new under the sun.
Boycott L.L Bean. Wait a minute: I already don’t shop there.
Yes, unfortunately, Maine, so progressive in so many ways, was at the forefront of Prohibition, and continues to keep that legacy alive.
Ridiculous law written by people without a clue. Amazing.
Even Utah has more forward thinking alcohol legislation than that…
May be one day all this waste of tax payer’s money will stop.
Let’s not forget Tennessee, where not only is it illegal to sell wine or liquor in grocery stores but it’s illegal to taste wine or have a tasting in a wine store.
Unlike Tennessee, it is still legal to have tastings in wine shops in Maine, although if this new law is enforced strictly, it may be practically impossible.
Just when you think it can’t get any more absurd.
This goes hand-in-hand with the mentality that you can’t ship wine to some people in specific states because of the concern of underage drinking. I know that when I may have imbibed (ahem) before the age of 21, ordering wine was top of my mind. Particularly when you figured in the cost and the fact that parents can probably figure out when you opened a bottle with the cork being out and all.
Once again government knows best!
So, um, are we also going to outlaw drinking wine at home in front of our own children?
Actually they have it all wrong – they should REQUIRE the children to see their parents tasting wine. I can’t think of a better way to make something uncool…
What nonsense. Worldwide studies have repeatedly shown that people who grow up with parents who drink responsibly are more likely to end up responsible about their own drinking.
All I can say is, the more you put malice onto something, the more it becomes influential…so why pay serious attention to children seeing someone simply drink something from a bottle?
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