An idea for a Texas constitutional amendment came to me today as I read a newspaper story about a petition to allow for beer and wine sales at a retail outlet planned for a Potter County justice of the peace precinct.
Let’s call for an amendment to the Texas Constitution that allows Potter County to get rid of the prohibition.
For that matter, why not vote statewide on eliminating all dry county precincts?
Are we up for it?
At issue is a petition to allow a proposed Sam’s Club box store planned for a site in far west Amarillo. It sits in JP Precinct 3, which is dry. To buy a mixed drink or a cold beer in JP 3, you have to join a private “club.” I found this out when I first moved to Amarillo in January 1995. I went to dinner one night, ordered a beer at Hoffbrau on Interstate 40 and Coulter, but had to join a club to buy a drink.
What a joke.
I’ve never quite understood, to be candid, how dry precincts and counties continue to have any relevance in this mobile society of ours.
As for the Sam’s Club petition, to deny the retailer the chance to sell alcoholic beverages — beer and wine — is to deny the company a chance to enhance its profit, earn more revenue, thrive in a growing business climate. Why not allow the sale?
I’m guessing it would require a constitutional amendment to enact the change, given that Texas counties are governed by state statute. Under state law, any constitutional amendment — no matter how “local” its implication — requires a vote of all Texans.
The entire notion of dry justice of the peace precincts is an archaic notion that needs to be tossed aside.