Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Opinion

News Opinion

Reducing liquor outlets won't curb drinking

Using zoning laws to limit alcohol outlet density won't stop the heaviest drinkers from consuming alcoholic beverages ("Government should use zoning to limit liquor stores, Hopkins researchers say," April 11). Such a solution oversimplifies the problem of alcohol abuse.

Just compare Maryland and Pennsylvania. Despite its smaller population, Maryland's private control of alcohol sales means it has roughly 1.5 times as many alcohol retail outlets as government-controlled Pennsylvania. Yet according to the National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, per capita alcohol consumption in both states is nearly the same — 2.21 gallons per year for Maryland and 2.19 for Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Pennsylvania has higher rates of underage drinking and binge drinking than Maryland.

If retail density directly leads to problem drinking, shouldn't Pennsylvania fare better than its southern neighbor? Instead of making a legal product less available to responsible adults, we should focus on getting alcohol abusers the treatment that they need.

Sarah Longwell, Washington

The writer is managing director of the American Beverage Institute.

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Reining in a neighborhood nuisance

      Our view: A new study validates Baltimore's plan to use the zoning code to reduce the number of liquor outlets

    • Schmoke's vindication
      Schmoke's vindication

      When Gov. Larry Hogan's task force on heroin overdose deaths met at the University of Baltimore last week, the panel was greeted by the school's newly installed president, Kurt Schmoke, a former Baltimore mayor with plenty of experience coping with the city's heroin epidemic. More than 20 years...

    • Big pharma should support the NIH
      Big pharma should support the NIH

      Recently at a reception, one of my faculty colleagues at Johns Hopkins expressed concern about her academic future. The pay line for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants in her field was 7 percent; that means that she has to spend two or three weeks writing a proposal that has only a 7 percent...

    • What Hillary Clinton needs to do to win
      What Hillary Clinton needs to do to win

      In finally declaring her 2016 presidential candidacy, Hillary Clinton put a reverse twist on the old break-up line, "It's not you. It's me." Her pitch, she said, is all about you -- the voters and what you need -- not about me and my ambition to follow my husband into the Oval Office.

    • Michael Phelps [Poll]
      Michael Phelps [Poll]
    • Restoring people's faith in government
      Restoring people's faith in government

      In Maryland and across the country, Americans are growing deeply cynical about Washington. And for good reason. They perceive that policymaking is increasingly an insider's game, with little role for the public itself. They feel that their voices go unheard in Congress. And they see, time and time...

    Comments
    Loading

    70°