A proposed resolution is circulating social media that calls upon Richmond to restrict or ban the sale of single-serve alcoholic beverages in stores, including drinks “as small as 50 milliliters and as large as 40 ounces.”
The proposed resolution, shared online by Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia’s office and posted below this report, states Bay Area Community Resources’ (BACR) youth-led Discovering the Reality of Our Community (DROC) and the Alcohol, Marijuana, and Prescription Drugs (AMPD) Coalition plan to educate policymakers at the Richmond City Council meeting on June 26 “on ways they can protect youth from alcohol influences.”
The city invited AMPD to present to council on the issue. AMPD and DROC are not advocating for specific policies, according to BACR, but aim to present their research and reflect community concerns about the issue.
The single serve drinks are inexpensive, high both in alcohol and supply and are “gateway alcoholic drinks,” advocates behind the proposed resolution say. Groups of students and community advocates have been working for some time to ban or restrict the sales of both flavored tobacco products and single-serve alcoholic beverages at stores.
On June 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., supporters are invited to a “prep party” at the Richmond Community Foundation to “develop public comment and sign the petition to ban single sales in the City of Richmond.” See the invitation here.
The groups believe single serve restrictions will help reduce underage drinking, violence, loitering, litter and calls for police service.
“Between May 2017 and April 2018, a total of 5,929 calls for service were made by 10 liquor stores in Richmond, CA to the Richmond Police Department — for crimes within 500 feet of their store,” according to the proposed resolution. “And that 114 of these calls were for violent crimes.”
Reducing availability of single-sale drinks, which occupy “as much as 58-percent of refrigerator space” at Richmond stores, would mitigate that problem and also keep these drinks out of the hands of youth, advocates say.
Much like flavored tobacco, activists argue that single serve drinks are inexpensive and marketed to draw in youth.
“Single serves are marketed aggressively toward Richmond’s most vulnerable population — including the city’s youth –due to being as cheap as $2.50 per can, packaged in bright colors, endorsed by celebrities well-known to youth, and available in sugary sweet flavors — such as Green Apple, Dragon Joose and Fruit Punch — making it a gateway alcoholic drink,” the resolutions states.