PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The debate over the push for liquor privatization in Pennsylvania rages on.
On Thursday, WPHT’s Dom Giordano spoke to Deb Beck, who recently testified in the Senate against privatization.
Beck, President of Drug and Alcohol Services Providers of Pennsylvania which provides drug and alcohol treatment programs and prevention services, cited public safety as her main concern.
“Here’s our worry [about privatization],” Beck said. “[It’s] the increase in access to the leading drug in America.”
According to Beck, public health and safety could be at risk if the sale of alcohol is privatized.
“Alcoholism is easily the number one leading drug problem in our country,” Beck added, citing statistics on the prevalence of alcoholism within the American population.
But, Giordano asked, should the population of Pennsylvania be subject to archaic government regulations because around one in every ten people can’t drink responsibly?
“Why would the government tell me that I have to minister to certain groups when 48 other states don’t have to deal with it?” he probed.
Furthermore, there’s the inconvenience of having to plan ahead to purchase alcohol at two separate stores, Giordano said.
“I think it’s okay for adults who don’t have a problem [with alcohol]…I would think they’d be capable of planning ahead to purchase alcohol,” Beck shot back.
Still, most callers seemed to agree with the host that the current method of selling liquor is inconvenient, and that the idea of alcohol sales being regulated by the government is simply outdated, if not “offensive, constitutionally,” as Giordano said at one point during the interview.
“She does not speak for the majority of Pennsylvanians,” a caller from Newtown said. “If I drive over to Delaware…and count the number of cars in the parking lot from Pennsylvania and the number from Delaware, there are far more from Pennsylvania.”