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Possible beer and light wine sales in Poplarville has local opposition

TEMPERANCE

Not all members of the Poplarville community are open to allowing the sale of beer and light wine in Poplarville city limits.

Mayor Brad Necaise said he hasn’t “encountered any opposition,” but that he has seen opinions on social media.

“What I have seen through social media is healthy discussions around the possibility of its passing.

“This is where you’ll see fear versus fact. Most of what is written is non-factual. It’s more about the fear of what will happen,” Necaise said.

One opposing the current petition is Pastor Tommy Anthony of First Baptist Church in Poplarville.

Anthony said while he doesn’t get in the “pulpit and rant” about the use of alcohol, he doesn’t believe the introduction of the sale of beer and light wine would have a positive effect on the city.

“As I talk to people, I have seen such heartache because of alcohol and I don’t think it would be a stretch to say it’s the most abused substance,” Anthony said.

He said while the younger generation has shifted away from the church tradition of not drinking, he doesn’t think the Poplarville population is ready to make that change to selling alcohol.

Carl Meyers, Associational Missions Director of the Pearl River Baptist Association, said the argument for many years in introducing the sale of alcohol into different communities has been the increase in tax revenue.

He said what people don’t look at is the “increase in policing, loss of work, loss of production, or increased accident rates.” Meyers said if a city is spending money on these things, then you aren’t gaining revenue.

“It causes more hurt than it does anything else, I think,” Meyers said.

Meyers said alcohol leads to other issues that are harmful and that drinking goes against scripture.

“It hurts individuals. It hurts families,” Meyers said.

Anthony said he doesn’t condemn people for their decision, but voting yes allowing alcohol sales is not something he will do.

“As a believer, as a Christian, as a pastor, I would hate to support an industry that has caused so much heartache over the years,” Anthony said.

If the referendum is not approved by voters, it will be another five years before a vote on introducing the sale of beer and light wine will be able to come before the Board of Alderman.