Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
Supermarkets would be barred from allowing customers to use self-service checkout lanes to purchase alcohol under a proposal now being debated in the California legislature, the Los Angeles Times reported July 8.
Advocates like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Marin Institute contend that the self-service lanes make it easy for underage youth and intoxicated individuals to purchase alcohol. California already limits stores to selling cigarettes, spray paint, and some over-the-counter medication via a live cashier, and a measure from Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, AB-1060, would add beer, wine and liquor to the list.
Self-service checkout registers are supposed to halt transactions involving alcohol so that employees can check IDs, but a study found that this safeguard failed about 20 percent of the time — sometimes because employees failed to check IDs when they were busy helping multiple customers. There are even websites and blogs showing teens how to game the system, including scanning a six-pack of soda rather than beer.
However, some California stores only have self-service checkout, and industry groups say self-checkout technology has improved and that underage buyers are no more likely to get alcohol at self-serve lanes than when interacting with a live cashier.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is not supporting the legislation, saying that adequate safeguards are already in place.