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Kan. Chamber to support loosening of liquor laws

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Chamber of Commerce wants to allow the state's groceries and convenience stores to sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer.

Chamber vice president Kent Eckles says the chamber will be part of a coalition urging legislators to rewrite laws on alcohol sales in the upcoming session.

Kansas law allows only retail liquor stores to sell wine, liquor and full-strength beer, while groceries and convenience stores can sell only so-called weak beer, also known as cereal malt beverage. The restrictions are a holdover from a Prohibition past that included famed saloon-smasher Carrie Nation.

Eckles said the chamber views the issue as free enterprise. Liquor store owners fear being pushed out of business by big retail chains, and proposals have failed the past two years.