Group wants to change Colo. liquor laws for grocery store sales

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DENVER -- Grocery stores in Colorado are launching a campaign to change liquor laws throughout the state.

They want to sell full-strength beer and liquor.

Opponents to the idea argue that a change will cause more harm than convenience.

Right now grocery stores can't sell full-strength beer and they can only sell wine and other liquor at one location in the entire state.

There have been more than a half-dozen attempts to change these laws in the past, they always failed.

The effort is a bit different this time.

"It's really time for us to bring some choice and convenience to the Colorado customer," says Chris Howes of Colorado Consumers for Choice.

He says the liquor laws which have been in place since the 1930s are out of date, and grocery stores should be able to sell the same alcohol as liquor stores.

His group is gathering signatures for a potential ballot initiative in 2016 that would let voters decide what the laws should be, rather then lawmakers handling the process.

On the other hand, Argonaut Liquors co-owner Ron Vaughn says even though the laws or old, that doesn't mean they're out of date. He says customers would actually lose choice under CCC's proposal.

Because many craft breweries, unique to Colorado, rely on the independent market, Vaughn says many of them would go out of business and people would lose their jobs. "Those brands probably wouldn't exist without an independent market like this."

Vaughn believes voters would not approve the proposal to let grocery stores start selling liquor every where because he thinks they understand the significance of the independent market.