Keep money in community

Reese Hawkins
senior from
Princeton, Ky.

Grow Murray has succeeded in their petition to bring the issue of sales of packaged alcohol to a vote. I raise my glass and say “cheers!” To their detractors, I also say “cheers.” Because that’s the great thing about drinking, you can choose not to.

“Now hold on a sec,” one might say. “Having a choice is aggressive and isn’t a choice at all!”

Indeed, this is what a lot of the viewership feels like. I can’t help them see it the way Grow Murray does, and it’s likely they will never come about to their conclusion due to any number of reasons.

And that’s OK. Why? They can choose to decide to abstain from the consumption of alcohol, they can choose to go to church on Sunday and they can choose to order a water instead of soda.

Let us consider the vice versa for a moment. Let’s say Murray, Ky., did not allow the sales of packaged soda in the county because of the obesity epidemic that soda, no doubt, has spearheaded in America. However, the sale of soda by the drink was already prevalent in the county and despite having been dry for years beforehand, only saw minimal increases in alcohol-related charges.

Eventually, these people really started wanting soda to have at home instead of having to choose between two choices; one being the choice to have to drive out to a restaurant to get soda, then subsequently drive home or drive into Tennessee and buy it there.

So there was a petition started called Grow Murray (no pun intended). The petition was based on the idea that the state of Kentucky and county of Calloway County would be better served by having the revenue from soda sales pumped into our state instead of another, which would also help keep a lot of road miles away from potential drinkers.

Now imagine another petition was started, where the idea was to keep this petition from being voted on because they feel oppressed by the option of choice. Because they feel soda will continue to help in corrupting this great county.

Does this idea sound ridiculous? It should. You see, the same people who claim packaged alcohol sales would only further corrupt those in this county would have you believe this. Let’s take my example one step further.

Soda has the same pH level of vinegar. It also increases the risk of obesity by 1.6 times. Children who drink soda break bones more easily (which leads to increased risk of osteoporosis), and dissolves your tooth enamel. Soda will even rust metal (thank you,!).

Yet most of these people who vapidly stand beside their opposition petition will probably spend Sunday afternoon sipping on a soda product during a hearty lunch. What Grow Murray is fighting for is keeping potential alcohol consumers out from behind a wheel. How can this possibly be misconstrued?

Alcohol can even be good for you. Wine has been proven to help in fighting the hardening of the arteries with its antioxidant properties. And a recent study done in August of 2010 called “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research” concluded in a longitudinal study of 1,824 participants, those between 55 and 65 who abstained from drinking increased their chances of death, and that excludes those who used to drink but quit.

Perhaps an anomaly of the study, they concluded that heavy drinkers appeared to live longer than abstainers (I should note clearly here I do not condone this).

It’s worth noting no one is claiming alcohol is the be-all, end-all fix this county is in need of financially. But how could it hurt? How could helping to keep this community’s money here hurt us? Oh, we have to put the police force to work?

I doubt by helping keep drinkers in their homes and off the roads will require a major boost in law enforcement. I’m sure we won’t be bothering the four officers posted in front of Trends-n-Treasures too much.

So do we take the leap into the 21st century? Do we join modern society and dare to sneak these common bottles into our home? I hope we can all crack open a cold one one day, and “cheers” to that.