Attention Kentuckians!



Grassroots effort to overturn
Kentucky's felony wine-shipping law
Kentucky Kentucky, which in 1996 became the first state to criminalize wineries and wine merchants who ship wines directly to its citizens across state lines, has seen the birth of a grassroots movement aimed at overturning this anti-consumer legislation.

Lauren Abel, a wine collector and owner of a public-relations firm in Boone County, Ky., near Cincinnati, has organized a petition drive seeking the repeal of the 1996 state law that makes it a felony to ship alcoholic beverages directly to customers who order wine by mail or over the Internet. An article about her effort appeared in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Dec. 19.

Although state anti-shipping laws are often presented as being intended to prevent tax losses, deter sales to children or keep alcohol out of "dry" areas, this is simply not the case: This legislation, in Kentucky and other states, is bought and paid for by the wine and liquor wholesale industry as a blatant effort to monopolize liquor distribution at the consumer's expense.

If you are a wine lover and Kentucky resident and would like to assist in the effort to overturn this bad law, click here for a petition form that you can print out, circulate among your friends, and mail to Ms. Abel for presentation to the State Legislature.

If you live and are registered to vote in Kentucky and would like to be included on an E-mail list keeping you informed about this effort, sign up here.

If you live in other states of the U.S., unless you're fortunate enough to live in one of the dozen or so that have passed "reciprocity" laws permitting direct shipment of wine among their residents, you probably have similar anti-consumer laws in your state. For more information about this issue and what's being done to fight it, check the following Websites:

Kentuckians: Don't forget to get your petition form!