Group aims to put proposal to sell full-strength beer, wine in grocery stores on ballot

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DENVER -- The battle over whether full-strength beer in Colorado should be allowed in grocery stores is beginning to heat up.

Your Choice Colorado has launched several television commercials aimed at persuading voters to support its cause.

"In 42 other states you can buy Colorado beer and wine in grocery stores but right here, where they're brewed, you can't," said Matt Chandler, a spokesman with Your Choice Colorado.

Chandler said efforts will begin "soon" to collect 90,000-plus signatures so the measure can be put on the November ballot.

"People are going to see this all over the place. They are going to see us on the streets of Denver,  they are going to see us in and around their communities around the state," Chandler said.

Wal-Mart, Kings Soopers and Safeway have signed on as supporters, Chandler said.

But the full-strength beer fight in Colorado has major opposition. Keep Colorado Local is fighting the measure.

"It's a straight profit grab by groceries to get into our business," said Ron Vaughn, who runs Argonaut Wine and Liquor.

Vaughn predicts 700 of the 1,700 liquor store in the state would close if this measure passes.

"Eighty-six cents out of every dollar goes out of state because that's where their headquarters are, where as we are independent business people who live in Colorado," Vaughn said.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has already spoken out against the movement in the past but like the marijuana fight, just because politicians oppose something doesn't mean voters agree.

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