Poll Shows Marylanders Want to Buy Alcohol in Chain Stores

Democrats and Republicans agree on this issue, according to poll results.

A recent Gonzales Research poll shows that a majority of Marylanders favor being able to buy beer and wine at chain stores, despite the fact it's illegal for most chain stores in the state to hold a liquor license.

A poll conducted in late September found that 64 percent of Marylanders favor being able to buy beer and wine at places like Whole Foods, Target and Giant Foods.

The issue crosses party lines. The poll found that 56 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans believe chain stores should be able to sell beer and wine.

The poll was conducted for Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws (MBBWL), an advocacy group that has supported repealing laws that ban chain stores from receiving liquor licenses.

Adam Borden, president of MBBWL, said Gonzales was chosen because it was conducting a statewide poll about other questions and is regarded as one of the top tier polling outlets in Annapolis.

Gonzales Research wrote that they interviewed 813 registered voters across the state by telephone to obtain the results. Gonzales reported a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

"The results are really clear," said Borden. "It seems like an overwhelming majority clearly want this."

Attempts to contact a spokesperson for the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association for its opinion on the poll were not successful on Wednesday afternoon.

Patch ran its own unofficial poll back in May. A total of 1,359 people voted in the poll, which found that 34 percent believed all alcohol should be sold in grocery stores, 26 percent said only beer and wine and 34 percent said no alcohol should be sold.

Annapolis could soon be changing its own licensing laws on liquor.

The City Council is expected to vote on a resolution introduced by Mayor Josh Cohen to ask the state legislature to amend Maryland's code to allow residents of Anne Arundel County to hold alcoholic beverage licenses in the city. The law currently requires applicants to live within Annapolis city limits for two years prior to obtaining a liquor license.

Tell us in comments: Do you think you should be able to buy alcohol in chain stores in Maryland?

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  • POLL: Should Maryland Allow Alcohol Sales in Grocery Stores?
Daniel Moreau October 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Calif Safeway with an aisle of wine and liquor was a good thing. Ought to the same here.
S Kirby October 12, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Why not? You can in Ocean City area! Why should one spend extra time, gas money and environmental impact (gas usage, waste from using car) to go to another store for supplies. People prefer to go to Trader Joe's in Virginia because you can buy groceries and wine there. Come on!


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