Consumers in border cities are able to take advantage of considerable price differences, albeit at risk of being caught by a border agent and forced to pay duty tax. The rest of the province should only be so lucky to experience an American liquor store with selection of depth and width far above and beyond what the LCBO offers.
The tendency for governments to increasingly regulate the advertising industry, whether in the name of consumer protection or for health concerns, is already on full throttle. After cigarette packs, don't be surprised if sooner or later you see plain bags of chips on the shelves of convenience stores, or plain-packaged chocolate bars. Politicians stand on a steep, slippery slope that could lead to private property and intellectual property violations, and destruction of brands. The economic consequences should be weighted carefully. And such policies backed by solid empirical data, not merely good intentions.
School might be out but that doesn't mean we (and our politicians who make the rules) can't learn a thing or two on our summer vacations, be it taxis, airline travel or on convenience in shopping for beer, wine and spirits. Can Canadians learn from the rest of the world? We'll find out in September.
Much of Canada's current approach to liquor retailing has its roots in prohibition-era attitudes towards wine, beer and spirits. But anyone who thinks that era ended should consider the anti-competition rhetoric that emanates from government liquor stores across Canada or Ontario's government-approved private sector beer cartel, The Beer Store.
In 1920, marijuana was legal in British Columbia, but alcohol was not. What if that was still the law today? Can we imagine a parallel world where alcohol prohibition never ended, and marijuana prohibition never began? In that world, provincial politicians promote B.C.'s vibrant marijuana industry, posing with brand-name joints of B.C. bud, while also calling for longer sentences against brew-ops and wine dealers, to protect youth against the dangers of liquor.
WIth the recent cases of cannibalism as a consequence of using bath salts, a synthetic drug that's now easily found on the streets, people are wondering: Is this the beginning of the zombie apocalypse? Or is this merely the consequence of slow-moving, half-witted drug policies that in fact encourage this type of drug economy?
I don't buy for one second that the big minds on the House Judiciary Committee actually believe this bit of nonsense will help turn the war on drugs, an effort that was doomed to failure from the get-go. People want what people want, and no number of laws, no matter how strictly enforced, will stop them from getting it.