In addition to a fine budget that preserves the best of the Legislature’s and Gov. Napolitano’s priorities, Arizonans got a little bonus last week: The governor signed a measure that actually rolls back the state’s paternalistic reach. You probably know it as the liquor-sampling bill, which would allow supermarkets and other retail outlets to let customers sample beer, wine and distilled spirits like they long have done with soups, sausages and souffles.
The bill passed by a large margin, but ultaconservatives who want the government out of our lives — with the exceptions of our bedrooms and liquor cabinets — decried the measure as another insidious tool by which Demon Alcohol can get its claws into us poor, hapless sinners. We feared the governor, whose agenda has generally enraged the far right, might throw them a bone by vetoing the bill — but she signed it on Wednesday.
The law is perfectly reasonable. Adults who savor the fruits of the vine — or the still — now will be able to sample this or that brand at their favorite store, under closely regulated conditions. Whether you’re a tippler or a teetotaler, if you believe adults should be treated like adults, this law should cause no consternation.