Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wine in Grocery Stores: Influence your legislator now!

There is a real chance this year that Tennessee may allow the sale of wine in grocery stores. When people move here from other states they are often dismayed to discover that you can't pick up a bottle of wine at the grocery store. The powerful liquor lobby and the influence of a segment of the religious community, primarily the Southern Baptist, have been able to keep wine out of grocery stores. If you would like the convenience of being able to pick out that bottle of red wine at the same place you pick out your steak, please contact your legislature. It is time that Tennessee stopped being a rural backwater and joined the modern world.

On March 20th the Tennessean listed the stance of each member of the state legislature on this issue. To see how your legislator stands on the issue please follow this link: Wine in grocery stores: Tennessee lawmakers' stances. The list includes the phone number and email address of each legislator. If you are not sure who your Senator and Representative is, follow this link to find out: Tennessee General Assembly.

It is hard to categorize who takes which position on this issue. It is not a liberal or conservative division nor a Republican/Democratic division. I had thought it was a rural vs urban and suburban division but I notice that that is not necessarily so. Most of the Knoxville delegation is in the "anti" column and several of the Memphis delegation are either anti or undecided. I am proud or my own Senator Douglas Henry for being in the "for" column and disappointed that my Representative, Mary Pruit, is listed as undecided. This issue is being decided right now. Please contact your legislators and tell them to vote in favor of letting us buy wine in grocery stores.

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