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October 24, 2019

Maine moves to stop illegal online sales of alcohol

Maine has joined a coalition of 47 other states and U.S. territories in calling on Facebook, eBay and Craigslist to stop the illegal sale of alcohol on their websites.

Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey signed a letter with other AGs asking the digital platforms to review their content, remove illegal posts selling alcoholic beverages, and develop programming that will block future posts.

The letter notes that each state has the power to regulate alcohol within its borders, and that some alcohol products sold online may be counterfeit or tainted. Consumers may not know the online sales are illegal, or that the black-market products could pose health risks, according to a news release Tuesday from Frey’s office.

“It is illegal to sell liquor online in Maine,” said Frey. “Despite that, we are aware that consumers, including minors, are able to purchase liquor through online platforms such as Facebook, Craigslist and eBay. Consumers should not purchase liquor through these platforms; in addition to the illegality of the sale, it is also concerning that the products sold might be fraudulent or tainted, posing health risks.”

In addition to requesting the companies to remove and block posts selling alcohol, the AGs invited Facebook, eBay and Craigslist to join them in a working group that would create protocols for preventing future illegal sales.

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