Oregon grocers drop liquor privatization measure

Expanded Liquor Sales Linked to Emergency Room Trips

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon voters won’t be deciding this year whether to privatize liquor sales.

Grocers said Wednesday they’re withdrawing proposed ballot initiatives that would have asked voters in November to end the state’s monopoly on selling liquor.

They prepared two versions, but said Wednesday there’s not enough time to get signatures for the one they prefer.

They’d need 87,000 valid signatures on that measure by July 3 but still haven’t received approval to begin collecting them.

Initiative co-sponsor Lauren Johnson says in a statement that proponents will continue seeking privatization through the Legislature or the 2016 ballot.

Critics of the initiative say the decision is welcome news.