Drink up more than usual, friends! Today we rejoice as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission discontinues plans to ban cheap drinks in parts of Oregon. The OLCC was trying to make downtown Portland an “Alcohol Impact Area,” (not as fun as it sounds) giving the city of Portland the ability to prohibit businesses from selling disorderly-conduct-causing drinks like malt liquor and inexpensive wine.
So why am I drunk off of a 40 of Mickey’s in downtown Portland as I type this? Many personal reasons actually, but what I mean is, why are they still available downtown? Because it’s been determined that the OLCC doesn’t have the authority to establish AIAs to be recognized by Oregon state law. Cheap booze will live to be drank another day (or should I say, every day) but the city will try to push similar legislation next year.
This conclusion was reached just recently, but the plan has been supported by the organization and Portland officials for two years, and it’s sentiment can still be seen in the community despite the loss. Many businesses have stopped selling the controversial beverages voluntarily, even though the overall reaction of shop owners was mixed when the plan was first proposed.
Due to loss of alcohol related sales, Apu gets a side job.
One of the major arguments for enacting the ban was the supposed success in Seattle, cited by Theresa Marchetti in her original proposal. While the statistics look nice, other sources show that results varied and were ultimately disappointing as people simply found different ways to get intoxicated.
Banning sales of cheap alcohol not only infringes on responsible drinkers and store owners, but it could have some very detrimental results. History has shown that if a person wants a drink, they’re going to get a drink. I see two possible outcomes of this ban. 1) It simply moves riff-raff to another part of the city. Unlike downtown, most parts of Portland are more family-oriented and have more children residents. If we have to have it, let’s at least keep the belligerency in downtown. 2) It creates non-OLCC recognized suppliers in troubled areas. We could be looking at a full on hobo mafia here.
Movements like these have good intentions but generally become a hassle for law abiding citizens and lack worthy results. For example, Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard pushed legislation to lock up spray paint in 2008. It made sales of spray paint to the average Portlander very tedious, and outright banned sales of spray paint to people under 18. Yay graffiti is done! Actually, no significant results have been seen, but you still have to fill out that goddam clipboard in order to paint your bike.
Speaking of geographic memory devices that sexualize fictional characters, anyone in the “Harry Potter Fuck Me Hard” neighborhood can attest that parts of Eugene have staggering alcohol related crime rates as well. Downtown Portland would have been the first AIA in Oregon, but if it passes next year, will it be the last?
Little do these prohibitioners know, Thaddeus T. Rumplebottom was waiting in the sewer with his mouth open.