Chris Fine

Expanding Colorado’s alcohol laws may sound like a good idea at first. But like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, there are many unintended consequences of the three alcohol-related measures on the November ballot: Props 124, 125 and 126.

Companies like DoorDash are dumping millions of dollars into ad campaigns to try to persuade Colorado voters to support their ballot measures — but if they succeed, these ad dollars may very well be their last investments into our economy.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s 1,650-plus independent, local liquor stores have become bedrocks of our communities, sponsoring little league teams and community events while providing an outlet for our burgeoning craft beer and distilling scene. They create jobs and support an even wider economy throughout the state. But they don’t have tens of millions of dollars to dump into an ad campaign to tell you that.

The campaign against 124, 125 and 126 is truly a David vs. Goliath story, where large, out-of-state corporations believe they can buy public opinion in order to buy our alcohol industry. But these measures risk far more harm than good to our communities.

The convenience they claim to provide has consequences, and it comes at a steep cost to Coloradans. Big-box liquor stores say they will cut prices, but they have a history of using predatory practices to bankrupt smaller businesses, then raising prices again. Once they control the market they leave consumers with fewer options at higher costs.

This is why a coalition across Colorado has come together to oppose ballot measures 124, 125 and 126, which will increase the ability of national chains to swoop into our alcohol market, shuttering small businesses and undermining public safety.

Colorado’s current alcohol delivery regulations prioritize safety, while companies like DoorDash and Uber have a history of letting their delivery personnel ignore guidelines and procedures to verify customer ages and check for over-intoxication.

In California, law enforcement is raising red flags over at-home delivery by DoorDash and Uber because they had an 80% failure rate during routine safety compliance checks — allowing far easier access to alcohol for underage youth.

We can’t let these big profit-driven companies dictate Colorado alcohol sales and regulations. Currently, Colorado residents have a direct say in the approval process for liquor stores’ licenses in their community. These initiatives will eliminate that local control and let the big out-of-state corporations set Colorado policy.

These alcohol measures are bad business for Colorado. Vote NO on Propositions 124, 125 and 126. While they may sound good at first glance, don’t believe the big-out-state corporation making big promises. They are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Chris Fine is a board member of the Keeping Colorado Local campaign and executive director of the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association.

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