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.
State governments closely regulate the sale of liquor in 18 states in this country. In these “control” states, the government limits access in an effort to protect public health and limit alcohol-related costs. But there’s increasing pressure to privatize, in spite of research that shows “control” systems work well.
Just ask Paul A. Stroup, III, Chief Exeutive Officer of the alcohol beverage control board in Mecklenburg County, N.C. In an editorial published Jan. 9 in The Charlotte Observer, Stroup laid out a pretty convincing rationale for not privatizing liquor in his state:
How? Privatization increases consumption, according to researchers. But it doesn’t take a scholar to figure out why: more retail outlets, and lower price add up to more consumption. What happens then? A Pacific Institute study estimated that if North Carolina’s alcohol consumption went up just 10 percent, it would add half a billion dollars to the state’s existing alcohol-related costs.
Conclusion? There’s always room for fine-tuning regulatory systems. But when it comes to alcohol, the free market isn’t cheaper; nor is it the greatest good for the greatest number of people.