Baylen Linnekin on Repeal Day and the Future of Alcohol Regulations


Food policy expert Baylen Linnekin dedicated his latest column to the anniversary of Prohibition being repealed, as well as the burdensome booze regs alcohol producers still endure:

"Next week will mark the 84th anniversary of the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment, which repealed alcohol Prohibition. The repeal of Prohibition is worth celebrating, even if the amendment was (and remains) a deeply flawed vehicle.

The chief flaw with the Amendment is, as I wrote earlier this year, that it "simply shifted much of the power to prohibit and incessantly regulate alcohol from the federal government to the states."

States have truly made the most of their teetotalitarian authority for decades, to the detriment of both alcohol producers and—much more so—consumers.

Much of the negative impacts of states' approach to alcohol regulation can be tied to what's known as the three-tier system, a Prohibition relic under which states generally prohibit direct alcohol sales from a brewer, vintner, or distiller to a consumer. The three-tier system mandates these alcohol producers first sell to a distributor or retailer—a mandatory middleman—who can then sell to actual drinkers..."

Read the whole column here. R Street's Jarrett Dieterle also interviewed Baylen Linnekin earlier this year about drinks laws and regs (here).