This week, millions of Americans will be following the advice of their public health agencies and staying home to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
Where possible, many will have food and drinks delivered to help support the thousands of restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores that have been ordered to temporarily close or limit hours.
Americans in multiple states will be prohibited, however, from having any alcohol hit their doorstep.
That’s due to arcane laws on the books in several states that don’t allow certain alcohol – beer, wine, and spirits – to be shipped directly to consumers.
Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah ban all alcohol shipments to consumers, whereas most others only allow wine shipments, shipments of alcohol after it has been purchased physically in a store, or from wineries located in-state.
Only Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, and New Hampshire allow consumers to purchase alcohol online and have it shipped to their residences.
Now is as good a time as any to consider changing these laws and empowering consumers to receive alcohol at home just like any other product.
Social distancing is here and millions of people are staying home to avoid spreading coronavirus. But if you’re unlucky enough to live in a state with strict alcohol laws, you won’t be able to ship a bottle of wine, a six-pack, or your favorite bourbon to your address. And that’s beyond ridiculous.
Improvements in technology and mobile apps have connected millions to stores and marketplaces that ship products to our doors relatively quickly.
Bans on shipping alcohol are leftover policies from Prohibition that deprive us of choice. These bans will only exacerbate the economic damage caused by coronavirus.
In the 21st century, we should no longer have antiquated alcohol laws that restrict our choices, reduce commerce, and treat adults more like children. Let’s legalize alcohol shipments.