Liquor Control Board Policy #09-2009 (here's a PDF of the policy) drops today. It bans the mention of energy drinks together with alcohol on all marketing and point-of-sale materials. This policy goes live October 28, barring any big backlash. Suppliers were notified yesterday and told they could comment at the board meeting tomorrow in Olympia. Public comments are allowed regarding the policy up until October 20, which you can direct to this email: email@example.com.
This policy affects state liquor stores and contract stores only (since no one else can sell hard alcohol), and carries a big slap of the ruler for suppliers. The policy states: "Any supplier with more than one violation of this policy within one year may have their ability to qualify for product displays revoked for up to 6 months."Yes, energy drinks are stupid, but that's not the point. The point is, where does this nanny-state bullshit end, who will say "no" to these people? Next they outlaw Red Bull and vodka at the bar; then they will come for your Cuba Libre. Before you know it, you're living in an adult version of Footloose, running an underground karaoke railroad. And we're supposed to be a blue state?
Keep your eye on the new WSLCB board chair, Sharon Foster, whom the governor recently appointed. She's a retired former lobbyist for organizations such as the YMCA, NARAL, and the Washington Restaurant Association. Word on the street is that she's got quite an agenda. The Liquor Control Board, as I've stated in the past ("They've Got Us by the Booze," June 2009), has virtually no checks and balances, seeing as how the people affected by its legislation are also subject to policing by the same board. This is the inch; wait for the mile.
Drinkers of Washington, unite!