Okla. grocery store wine proposal draws opposition

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Passage of a proposed initiative petition would allow Oklahomans to purchase their favorite wine in grocery stores.

But the proposal has come under fire from retail liquor merchants and anti-addiction groups that say making wine more accessible will lead to higher rates of alcohol abuse.

Protests have been filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court challenging the proposal by Oklahomans for Modern Laws. The petition seeks a statewide vote on what would be one of the biggest changes to Oklahoma liquor laws since Prohibition was repealed in 1959 and liquor-by-the-drink was allowed on a county-option basis in 1984.

The state Constitution restricts the sale of wine almost exclusively to licensed retail package liquor stores. But the state's more than 60 wineries can sell their own vintages in their tasting rooms.

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