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By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | February 25, 2009
A key lawmaker threw cold water yesterday on attempts by public health advocates to restrict the sale of flavored malt beverages sometimes called "alcopops," which studies have linked to underage drinking and alcoholism. "I have reservations about the bill, not about what they're trying to accomplish," said Del. Dereck E. Davis, a Prince George's County Democrat and chairman of the committee that engaged in hours of heated debate this week over alcohol reform bills. "Nothing in the testimony swayed my opinion that the state's current policy should be altered."
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NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | March 19, 2009
I was miles and miles away, in a vineyard in Napa Valley, when I first learned just how powerful the liquor lobby is back home in Maryland. A friend and I were driving the wine country's rolling roads, stopping here and there to sample the fruits of the various vintners' labors. The usual sniffing and sipping were quickly followed by the selling: You won't find us at your neighborhood liquor store, but we have a Web site, we can ship directly to you, where are you from? I soon learned to say another state, since Maryland was well-known to the small winemakers there as one of the 15 or so states that ban direct-to-consumer sales.
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NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith | June 1, 2008
Maybe it's just a different slant on the same old problem, but governing responsibly - and staying in office - seems ever more challenging. Take tax increases and "alcopops," for example. These not-so-obviously connected matters illustrate the challenge of addressing important public issues without damaging one's re-election prospects. In these matters, one thing leads to another - and no good deed goes unpunished. Gov. Martin O'Malley moved last fall to increase various state taxes.
NEWS
March 6, 2009
Limiting 'alcopops' helps protect teens A bill before the House of Delegates aims to block the sale of so-called alcopops, or sweetened high-alcohol beverages, in establishments with beer-only sales licenses ("'Alcopops' bill takes a beating," Feb. 25). These stores are places where kids congregate. And some studies suggest that teenagers are, by a wide margin, more familiar with these entry-level alcohol products than adults are and that at least 46 percent of all kids who drink have used alcopops.
NEWS
April 29, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision last week to at least temporarily postpone signing into law legislation to classify as beer so-called alcopops, the sweet, fruity drinks that are particularly appealing to underage drinkers, was a good first step toward protecting the health of Maryland teens. The next would be for the governor to veto the bill - and at least force the legislature to come up with a more reasonable approach to regulating and taxing them. How serious a threat is a bottle of Jack Daniel's Hard Cola and its ilk?
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | May 22, 2008
Despite intense pressure from public health advocates and parents, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced yesterday his support for a bill that ensures that popular flavored malt beverages would continue to be widely distributed and subject to a lower tax rate than other alcoholic drinks. O'Malley said he would allow the bill to become law without his signature but signaled that during next year's General Assembly session, he would pursue legislation to change the way "alcopops" are regulated.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun reporter | April 25, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley's chief lobbyist broke the news to public health advocates and anti-teen drinking crusaders Wednesday afternoon: The governor would sign a bill the next day ensuring that "alcopops" would continue to be taxed and distributed the same way as beer. The advocates, who had spent the past three months arguing that the bill would make it easier for teens to get fruity drinks such as Mike's Hard Lemonade, sprang into action. Within hours, the national leader of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was on a plane from Dallas for a meeting with the governor, activists and two Marylanders whose children were killed by drunken drivers.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun reporter | April 2, 2008
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and public health advocates launched a campaign yesterday to make sure drinks like Mike's Hard Lemonade and Jack Daniel's Black Jack Cola are considered legally the same as liquor, not beer. The legislature is considering a bill backed by alcohol manufacturers and distributors that would classify the beverages as beer, overruling an opinion that Gansler issued this month declaring such beverages - loosely termed "alcopops" - to be spirits under the law because of how they are made and because of evidence that they are popular among teenagers.
NEWS
April 21, 2008
During his first 15 months in office, Gov. Martin O'Malley has demonstrated a willingness to champion unpopular causes, from adding a penny to the sales tax to opposing the death penalty. But is he willing to challenge one of the most powerful players in Annapolis - the liquor lobby - for the health and safety of teenagers? The governor has an opportunity to do just that by vetoing a bill that would redefine beer to include so-called alcopops, sweet alcoholic drinks that are often flavored as lemonade, watermelon or grape juice and tend to attract underage drinkers.
NEWS
March 6, 2009
Limiting 'alcopops' helps protect teens A bill before the House of Delegates aims to block the sale of so-called alcopops, or sweetened high-alcohol beverages, in establishments with beer-only sales licenses ("'Alcopops' bill takes a beating," Feb. 25). These stores are places where kids congregate. And some studies suggest that teenagers are, by a wide margin, more familiar with these entry-level alcohol products than adults are and that at least 46 percent of all kids who drink have used alcopops.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | February 25, 2009
A key lawmaker threw cold water yesterday on attempts by public health advocates to restrict the sale of flavored malt beverages sometimes called "alcopops," which studies have linked to underage drinking and alcoholism. "I have reservations about the bill, not about what they're trying to accomplish," said Del. Dereck E. Davis, a Prince George's County Democrat and chairman of the committee that engaged in hours of heated debate this week over alcohol reform bills. "Nothing in the testimony swayed my opinion that the state's current policy should be altered."
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith | June 1, 2008
Maybe it's just a different slant on the same old problem, but governing responsibly - and staying in office - seems ever more challenging. Take tax increases and "alcopops," for example. These not-so-obviously connected matters illustrate the challenge of addressing important public issues without damaging one's re-election prospects. In these matters, one thing leads to another - and no good deed goes unpunished. Gov. Martin O'Malley moved last fall to increase various state taxes.
NEWS
May 23, 2008
An opportunity lost Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to legally define as beer those sweet-flavored, popular-with-teens alcoholic beverages known as "alcopops" will keep them as cheap and widely available as possible. This is not going to win him a Profile in Courage Award. Never mind that he's allowing legislation to become law without his signature. He may think that signals his intention to revisit the issue next year. What it actually indicates is that he didn't have the stomach to do the right thing and veto the measure.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | May 22, 2008
Despite intense pressure from public health advocates and parents, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced yesterday his support for a bill that ensures that popular flavored malt beverages would continue to be widely distributed and subject to a lower tax rate than other alcoholic drinks. O'Malley said he would allow the bill to become law without his signature but signaled that during next year's General Assembly session, he would pursue legislation to change the way "alcopops" are regulated.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun Reporter | May 8, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he is inclined to sign legislation delaying a statewide ban on dishwasher detergent containing polluting phosphorus and that he still is weighing whether to veto a bill ensuring that fruity alcoholic drinks known as "alcopops" continue to be taxed and distributed the same way as beer. The General Assembly approved both bills during its recently concluded session. O'Malley, a Democrat, has received a number of veto requests and letters in support of the alcopops bill, which he pulled at the last minute from a batch of bills he signed last month.
NEWS
April 29, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision last week to at least temporarily postpone signing into law legislation to classify as beer so-called alcopops, the sweet, fruity drinks that are particularly appealing to underage drinkers, was a good first step toward protecting the health of Maryland teens. The next would be for the governor to veto the bill - and at least force the legislature to come up with a more reasonable approach to regulating and taxing them. How serious a threat is a bottle of Jack Daniel's Hard Cola and its ilk?
NEWS
May 23, 2008
An opportunity lost Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to legally define as beer those sweet-flavored, popular-with-teens alcoholic beverages known as "alcopops" will keep them as cheap and widely available as possible. This is not going to win him a Profile in Courage Award. Never mind that he's allowing legislation to become law without his signature. He may think that signals his intention to revisit the issue next year. What it actually indicates is that he didn't have the stomach to do the right thing and veto the measure.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun Reporter | May 8, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley said yesterday that he is inclined to sign legislation delaying a statewide ban on dishwasher detergent containing polluting phosphorus and that he still is weighing whether to veto a bill ensuring that fruity alcoholic drinks known as "alcopops" continue to be taxed and distributed the same way as beer. The General Assembly approved both bills during its recently concluded session. O'Malley, a Democrat, has received a number of veto requests and letters in support of the alcopops bill, which he pulled at the last minute from a batch of bills he signed last month.
NEWS
By Bradley Olson and Bradley Olson,Sun reporter | April 25, 2008
Gov. Martin O'Malley's chief lobbyist broke the news to public health advocates and anti-teen drinking crusaders Wednesday afternoon: The governor would sign a bill the next day ensuring that "alcopops" would continue to be taxed and distributed the same way as beer. The advocates, who had spent the past three months arguing that the bill would make it easier for teens to get fruity drinks such as Mike's Hard Lemonade, sprang into action. Within hours, the national leader of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was on a plane from Dallas for a meeting with the governor, activists and two Marylanders whose children were killed by drunken drivers.
NEWS
April 21, 2008
During his first 15 months in office, Gov. Martin O'Malley has demonstrated a willingness to champion unpopular causes, from adding a penny to the sales tax to opposing the death penalty. But is he willing to challenge one of the most powerful players in Annapolis - the liquor lobby - for the health and safety of teenagers? The governor has an opportunity to do just that by vetoing a bill that would redefine beer to include so-called alcopops, sweet alcoholic drinks that are often flavored as lemonade, watermelon or grape juice and tend to attract underage drinkers.
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