PictureThe 2am Club. Photo by Jim Welte.

In an appearance before the Marin County Board of Supervisors, officials from and supporters of San Rafael-based Alcohol Justice said Marin County suffers from an “over-concentration of places selling alcohol, and ubiquitous access to cheap, youth-oriented products, creating an environment that surrounds youth with risk of alcohol-related harm.”

The officials went to the board to summarize a new report, “Marin County’s Alcohol Environment: Harm, Costs, Policies and Community Resources.” The report says Marin is “saturated with alcohol” with 924 licensed sales outlets in the county.

The report presents a variety of data, some of which supports its argument – both adult and youth consumption rates in Marin are higher than the state average, for example – but also some data showing that Marin’s alcohol-related deaths, non-fatal hospitalizations and alcohol-related crashes are lower than the state average.

Saying that Marin simply has too many places to legally buy alcohol, Alcohol Justice is calling for tougher regulations to limit the sale of alcoholic beverages, “including conditional use permits, zoning restrictions … and mandatory local rules,” according to the Marin Independent Journal.

That got us thinking: Mill Valley benefits from a vibrant restaurant and arts & entertainment scene, with most of the venues selling alcohol to one degree or another – 82 business in Mill Valley have an active retail license with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control. But is that too many places to buy booze in Mill Valley? Should businesses that seek to sell beer, wine and/or liquor go through a more restrictive permitting process to do so? Is the number of places to legally buy alcohol indicative of a larger problem or not?

Tell us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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