Enablement is a term that is quite common with addictions. The idea that accessibility to your substance of choice is easy, tempting and readily available. And in states like Georgia, that is certainly the case when it comes to alcohol. Their governor, Brian Kemp, recently signed a bill into law that would allow for ongoing booze deliveries in all of their major cities.
The bigger fear here, is that other states will follow suit and the already growing COVID-19 alcoholism trends will rise at a faster pace. Previously, beer and wine deliveries were prohibited. But with quarantines and people “in need of a fix,” all that will be needed is a laptop, cell phone and credit card to have large quantities sent to your home.
The Georgia bill in question is called HB879 and has been in the works since the start of the coronavirus. Specifically, it allows for beer, wine and liquor to be delivered to private residences from restaurants, bars and convenience stores (breweries and and distilleries are currently prohibited).
The justification has economic roots, with Governor Kemp emphasizing that this can be a lifeline for struggling businesses. But let’s not forget that this can also be an enablement tool, putting addictive substances into the hands of vulnerable people.
HB879 reflects just one of the major changes to happen within the spirits industry since the onset of COVID-19. As we’ve previously reported, to go alcohol options have been enacted across the country too; letting people pick up cocktails from their favorite bars and drink them in “the safety of their own homes.” Proponents of HB879 believe that this bill makes that experience even safer; taking the opportunity to drink and drive out of the equation.
So far, more than 30 states have allowed for alcohol to go services; each with different specifications. Colorado, for example, has cleared the way for that option up until 2021. California (where we happen to be based) added a stipulation indicating that food must be purchased with your cocktail if you take a drink to go. But Georgia is certainly breaking new ground by bringing the booze right to your front door.
While we certainly understand that small businesses need to survive during this difficult time, we want to make sure that people are aware of the dangers that can come from easily accessible alcohol. And with digital phone apps, ordering booze can be easy as pressing a button on your phone (without really understanding how much you’re spending or the potency of your order). If it were up to us, movements like this would be exerted with a lot more caution.