By Donald Rieck, March 4, 2014
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
In June of 2012, Washington State privatized its government-run liquor system, allowing the sale of distilled spirits in licensed private stores. The decision was part of a growing movement among states to undo legislation first crafted on the heels of the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 that sought to control and restrict alcohol sales as much as possible.
As such, Washington State has become a test case for other states debating privatization, namely Virginia, Pennsylvania, and neighboring Oregon. One focus is on whether privatization has had positive, negative, or no effect at all on such indicators of social welfare as youth consumption, drunk driving, and alcohol related emergency room visits.
So what has happened? According to a new “study” reported by the Oregonian, privatization has been disastrous for Oregon’s Pacific Northwest neighbor.