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Legend has it that author Mark Twain once said, "I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it's always 20 years behind."
But earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn nudged the Commonwealth a bit more in line with the times by ruling that Kentucky's law preventing grocery stores from obtaining licenses to sell package liquor and wine is unconstitutional.
This is hardly a radical idea. 35 of 50 states already allow wine or spirits sales in grocery stores, and that includes six of our seven neighboring states. And the social order in those states hasn't crumbled as a result.
This law has always seemed curious to me. Drug stores that also sell groceries have long been allowed to sell liquor of all types. So why have grocers that also sell drugs not had the same right?
Many consumers now consider wine to be part of their meal, so eliminating the prohibition will allow them to select their food and wines at the same time. And petitions have demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of the public is in favor of this move.
The state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has indicated there's still a chance it will appeal the judge's ruling. But if they do, here's hoping the appeal is overruled and Kentucky is allowed to join the rest of the country in the 21st century.