The Massachusetts legislature is considering restoring the ability for bars and restaurants to offer special price incentives on alcoholic beverages, such as the “happy hour” promotion.
Laws were passed 40 years ago to ban the practice in an effort to restrict alcohol consumption and reduce drunk driving and the carnage resulting from crime.
Driving the proposal is State Senator Julian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard on Beacon Hill.
Cape Town and the islands attract millions of tourists who are shocked when they first arrive to find that liquor prices are required by law to be higher than most of their states, especially to control their behaviour.
Massachusetts said goodbye long ago to Mike Dukakis, but the former governor still lurks above every bartender and customer in the Commonwealth.
You can buy an ounce of marijuana from state-licensed stores and go home and smoke until the TV speaks directly to you, but it’s the end of civilization if you and your friends get a two-for-one discount on margaritas in Hyannis or Edgartown.
The proposal would allow cities and towns to join and customize their own rules for the return of “happy hour”. Obviously, places like Boston, Springfield, and Worcester would take a different approach than cities on Cape Cod and the South Coast, and this proposal makes that possible.
This resurrection of “happy hour”, however, is far from happening at this late hour of the legislative clock, especially with Governor Charlie Baker who does not agree with the change.