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Poll: Most Marylanders Want Alcohol Sold In Grocery Stores

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A new poll shows most Marylanders are in favor of expanding their choices when it comes to buying beer and wine.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on a move to allow chain stores to sell alcoholic beverages.

"I think it would be great. Most of the surrounding states can do it," said one shopper.

A Gonzales poll conducted for Marylanders For Better Beer And Wine Laws found 64 percent of voters in favor.

"I think it's great," said another.

But 31 percent are opposed.

"I think that's what liquor stores are for," said one.

Maryland has seen gradual changes in alcohol regulations. New this year, Marylanders have been allowed to bring their own wine to restaurants and, as of last year, consumers can order wine through the mail.

"And at every turn, it seemed this is the next issue. Consumers kept saying, `Why do I have to go somewhere else when I'm doing my grocery shopping?'" said Adam Borden, Maryland For Better Beer & Wine Laws.

"I'd be happy. It'd be fine with me," said a shopper.

In that same group of voters polled, 30 percent felt strongly in favor; only half as many were strongly opposed. But there are understandable concerns from independent stores about added competition.

"Everybody's looking for cheaper," said one store owner.

"If you look in many states, in fact 46 allow beer in grocery stores in some capacity or another, there are many independent stores that stay in business," said Borden.

The proposal could go before the General Assembly in January.

In addition to supermarkets, voters also favored beer and wine sales in convenience and drugstore chains.

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