11 August 2016

Damn! The NORML Tinfoil Hat Fits!

One of the under-reported facts in the DNC email leaks was that the alcohol lobby was working aggressively with the DNC to foreclose any move toward legalization:
The WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is causing quite a stir for Hillary Clinton after some of the messages appeared to show the supposedly neutral committee favoring her presidential campaign over that of primary rival Bernie Sanders.

But the emails also contain a juicy tidbit for followers of the increasingly prominent debate about marijuana legalization.

One message sent to DNC Finance Director Jordon Kaplan shows that the alcohol industry is spending money to get members of Congress to pay attention to marijuana-impaired driving.


While the excerpt from a public email newsletter is not exactly a secret like the internal DNC messages are, it is a revealing window into the alcohol industry’s apparent concern over the marijuana policy reform movement’s increasing success.

Pro-legalization advocates have long speculated that as criminalization and stigma disappear, many adults will choose to use marijuana instead of drink alcohol, which could lead to diminishing profits for beer, wine and liquor manufacturers and sellers.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s website calls marijuana policy a “key issue” and its annual convention last year featured a panel titled, “Everything You Need to Know about Marijuana Legalization.” A press release said the session would cover “how marijuana legalization could impact another socially sensitive product: beverage alcohol.”


WSWA represents companies in the middle of the three tiers: Distributors who buy alcohol from producers and then place it into retail establishments where consumers shop.

“Without a similarly robust system, the marijuana market could present the potential for illicit and unregulated activity akin to that which occurred with alcohol prior to and during Prohibition,” the group’s site says. “Accordingly, WSWA stands ready to serve as a resource for states in explaining the merits of the three tier system as a systematic and effective regulatory framework.”

So WSWA isn’t necessarily opposed to legalization. It just seems to want to be the middleman between producers and retail sellers — and to grab a piece of the profits along the way.
So not a surprise.


Post a Comment