New Hampshire Bill Could Allow Private Spirits Sales

NewHampshireIn New Hampshire, state representatives are preparing to vote on a bill that could allow spirits to be sold from non-state retailers, when they are currently only available from state liquor stores. House Bill 1251, supported by Big Alcohol and many House Republicans, would dramatically expand the retail distribution on liquor, allowing it to be sold in every grocery and convenience store in the state - reversing precautions that New Hampshire has put in place to protect its residents, especially youth. Such precautions are particularly important in today’s liquor market, where candy-flavored, supersized alcopops with as much as 5 drinks per serving abound.  "For some young person to get a hold of these is just that much more concerning to us at stores that we don't control," said Joseph Mollica, chair of the liquor commission. Click here to take action on alcohol policy advocate New Future's website.


Alcohol Ad Restrictions Advance in Massachusetts

coors light train
Massachusetts organizers have recently seen success in their fight to eliminate alcohol advertising from public property. House Bill 851, which would ban alcohol advertising on all state-owned property, advanced from initial committee consideration to the Ways and Means Committee in December 2011. In January, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced that advertising for alcohol will no longer be allowed on any MBTA property as of July 1. The MBTA decision affects subway cars, trains, buses, and stations, which are currently saturated in advertisements for beer and spirits. These important moves come after years of scrutiny and advocacy from local community groups, including the Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force and Supporting an Alcohol-Free Environment in Massachusetts (SAFE MA).  Alcohol Justice applauds the steps that Massachusetts is taking to improve the public health. Click here to find out more. Click here to send an action alert to support MA HB 851.


Oglala Sioux Tribe Sues Big Beer


The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota filed a $500 million lawsuit earlier this month against Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors LLC, and Pabst, alleging that they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Damages from the lawsuit would be directed toward the cost of services such as health care, social services, and child rehabilitation, to address alcohol-related harm that tribe members have experienced. The lawsuit also targets specific alcohol retailers just across the border in Whiteclay, Nebraska, alleging that the stores sold primarily to Pine Ridge residents with the knowledge that the alcohol would be smuggled onto the reservation. In response, Nebraska legislators are now considering a measure that would enable Whiteclay to be declared an “alcohol impact zone” and allow limitations on the sale of alcohol.