The recent report from The Marin Institute on privatization of alcohol sales in Washington state and Virginia was highlighted today by JoinTogether.org. Contrary to claims by supporters that I-1100 and I-1105 would boost state revenue, the Marin report predicts privatization would be costly to the states and dangerous to the public's health and safety.
"Marin Institute researchers argue that long-term revenue would drop, stating that "privatization in either state will decrease annual state alcohol revenue by $200-$300 million."
Their report quoted estimates predicting that privatization would increase total alcohol consumption by 7 percent, and that spirit sales would jump 21 percent. They wrote that, "increased consumption in either Virginia or Washington State will cause an estimated $50 million per year in harm paid from state coffers (mostly criminal justice costs), and $1 billion per year in total harm costs."
Similar conclusions were drawn in a study by Dr. Randy J. Koch released by the VCU Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sept. 22 that Koch said that making alcohol more broadly available would make consumption rise, and that higher levels of consumption increase "chronic disease, motor vehicle and other accidents, violence, and loss of productivity in the workplace."