News from the Big Five: Alcohol-to-Go in Texas
The Texas Tribune reports today that restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol-to-go, if House Bill 1024 becomes law. This is a "shared goal" of Governor Greg Abbott and the Texan restaurant industry.
This seems like a strange goal for a state. Granted, restauranteurs will make precious extra bucks per ticket which are critical to their survival during COVID, and the state will bring in some more taxes... so far so good. But at what risk?
Well, for starters, alcohol is highly addictive, with 15% of users unable to control their intake. The CDC reports that alcohol-related automobile crashes cause a death every 50 minutes in the US. Additional health impacts of even moderate alcohol intake are well-reported: in 2018, The Lancet opined that "No Amount Of Alcohol Is Good For Your Health".
Texas, there is another way to let adults enjoy a bit of pleasure, and raise taxes without putting the arm on existing businesses (but spawning a legion of new businesses and job opportunities): LEGALIZE CANNABIS FOR ADULT USE.
Cannabis businesses in nearby Colorado sold $2 Billion in cannabis products in 2020, generating $32.4 Million in taxes in November alone. A closer rival in terms of Texas' size, California raised $1 Billion in taxes in 2 years since launching adult-use.