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SALEM -- Oregon could follow in Washington State's footsteps if several petitions to privatize liquor sales make it onto next year s ballot.

The Northwest Grocery Association filed the petitions Tuesday.

Washington voted to privatize liquor back in 2011 and shoppers can now buy booze in grocery stores like Fred Meyer in Vancouver.

As the law stands in Oregon right now, the state controls liquor sales at its 246 stores. Booze can not be purchased in grocery stores in Oregon.

The Northwest Grocery Association has argued that it s unfair for the state to have a monopoly on the liquor business.

If the law is eventually changed in Oregon, prices could go up.

An analysis by the Seattle Times showed that the price of a fifth of liquor has risen by about $3 since sales were privatized in Washington.

On the other hand, the number of alcohol-related crashes and offenses declined in the year following privatization.

Oregon shoppers who spoke to KGW Tuesday had mixed opinions.

I think it s a great idea. I think a lot of people want liquor to be more convenient, said Ben Massey.

I would definitely support the liquor stores as they are now, countered Kathy Ware.

Some liquor store owners have also expressed concerns that privatizing booze could hurt craft distilleries in Oregon.

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