Sorry to drag this back up from the dead, but I'm curious about what ever came from this as well. It appears no one knows. Does anyone know the guy's name? Speaking of Alabrew a few pages back, I'll ask the next time I'm in there, they may know.
Originally Posted by bovineblitz
Probably the same way headshops aren't illegal in most places. The paraphernalia is only illegal if used for illegal purposes. The items themselves are not illegal.
In regards to Alabrew - Shelby County, Alabama couldn't care LESS about what they sell and what they do. He used to be in Jefferson County (think downtown Birmingham, both of these counties connect). When he was there his business license was listed as a "Hobby Shop". When he made the move to where he is now in Shelby County, he was more forthcoming about what the business sells.
Bear in mind, it's LEGAL in Alabama to make wine under two conditions: 1) you use grapes from vines you own. 2) you make no more than 5 gallons a year. And of course, you can't sell it or feed alcohol to minors.
Anyway, the first few weeks he was open in the new location he got a LOT of cop activity. Eventually he asked what the deal was and why he was getting so much attention since he was operating a legal business. One of the cops told him that they wanted to make sure he wasn't cooking meth, to which he essentially replied with the jist of "what a retarded assumption, who would make meth in the back of a business in a crowded area, much less with a business that supplies home brewing supplies". Eventually, they lost interest.
Apparently cops have never smelled meth cooking. The notion someone could pull off such an activity in the area in question is similar to thinking you could stand in the middle of 15 people packed into an elevator, rip a huge one, and no one hear it or smell it.
There are actually a couple Sheriff's Deputies from Jefferson County that go in there for winemaking supplies that make a HELL of a lot more than 5 gallons a year. He also makes a good point as a defense to being a home brewing supply shop in this state. You can go into any grocery store and buy all the things you need to make alcohol. Selling the ingredients isn't an issue.
I've lived in this state my entire life, home brewing being illegal here is 100% about (tax) money. There is a component of being Bible Belters, but that's such a copout that people that don't live in the south don't understand. Southern Baptists are some of the biggest drunkards in the country. Alabama's politics are pretty corrupt from the top to the bottom. It's ALWAYS been that way and arguably always will be. Even importing beer/wine/whiskey into this state is legal so long as it's ordered either your local ABC store or they're notified of the order, and it's shipped TO that ABC store so that you can pay state sales tax on it.
Law Enforcement doesn't care about your Homebrew set up. Just don't advertise it and use common sense. Politicians, on the other hand, do.