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Attention to Oregon's alcohol issues urged on the state legislature

The big headlines about liquor thus far in 2023 concern the leadership at the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, where the boss stepped down amidst a scandal about expensive whiskey.

The concerns of the Oregon Alcohol Policy Alliance are more related to the prevalence of alcohol abuse and the light touch of taxes on beer and wine. The money part is addressed in a bill in the Oregon House, the Alcohol Harms Reduction Act. At the moment, it's a very short bill, but one with some very big implications. There is also HB 2976, to create a board regulating and promoting spirits.

We explore the bills and the larger approach to alcohol with Dr. Marv Seppala from the Alliance, a former chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.