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Group Seeks To Privatize Oregon Liquor Sales

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network

A group funded by the grocery industry filed an initiative petition Wednesday that would allow Oregonians to buy liquor in most grocery stores.

Currently in Oregon, you have to go to a select number of state-chartered liquor stores to buy things like vodka, whiskey and scotch. The grocery industry wants to be able to offer those products to customers along with their current selection of beer and wine.

Sponsors of the petition include the president of Portland-based Fred Meyer Stores.

If backers gather enough signatures, the initiative would appear on next year's ballot. Supporters abandoned an effort to qualify for the ballot in 2014 amid a court battle over the wording of the initiative.

Washington voters privatized liquor sales four years ago with a ballot initiative backed by a grocery trade association, a restaurant association and Costco.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.