The battle of pubs vs. pot

Beverage groups will soon contribute to the anti-Proposition 19 campaign

by Nicholas Kohler

The battle of pub vs pot

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For years, France’s wine industry backed the efforts of temperance advocates to demonize absinthe, the emerald-green spirit remembered today primarily as the tipple of choice for fin-de-siècle bohemians in Paris. The drink remained widely criminalized for decades as a result, a boon to vineyards everywhere.

The same tactic may now be at work in California, where voters are poised to decide on a ballot proposition to legalize another green substance—marijuana—but where an alcohol industry lobby group is funding a campaign to keep the drug verboten. This month, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors donated $10,000 to Public Safety First, a committee opposed to Proposition 19, which, were it to pass in November, would permit the regulation of marijuana.

Though it’s not commenting on the donation, the beer distributors’ group has good reason to worry that pot would cut into beer’s market share. Observers expect other beverage groups will soon contribute to the anti-Proposition 19 campaign. It’s a fight that makes for odd bedfellows: another big backer of the anti-pot Public Safety First lobby is California law enforcement. The police worry about impaired drivers—though not enough, it seems, to be wary of joining forces with the alcohol industry.




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The battle of pubs vs. pot

  1. Win or lose, this Prop 19 battle is bringing things to my attention that I never knew.
    http://www.truth-out.org/the-fraudulent-criminali

    My favourite part has to be what Nixon said, after Shafer came to him with facts he didn't like,

    "That's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them? I suppose it's because most of them are psychiatrists… By God, we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it right square in the puss…"

    Tricky Dick was always good for throwing a little extra prejudice behind his viewpoints.

    Another fun fact:

    "According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006 more than 60% of the revenue generated by Mexican drug cartels came from cannabis sales in the U.S."

    Always good to learn something new.

  2. At this point, it doesn’t matter, win, lose, or draw… the beer people who don’t come out and oppose the use of their money, like Sierra Nevada, who distanced themselves from the political donation, will lose my business. As if I would buy most of their big-brew swill in the first place.

    When I read that they figured meddling in the pot prop was apropo, I realized that I had no idea what else they had been supporting with the money they made off me so I started brewing my own a few weeks ago. It’s already been three weeks since I’ve started, and I’m not looking back. I haven’t had any weed in a long, long time, but bring some smoke, I’ve got some REAL (and excellent) brew, and that green bud is for me AND you!

  3. The annoyingly reversible argument is that many of the rabid anti-alcohol advocates can be casual pot smokers. Interests and money cloud judgment even more so than the personal picks of poison.
    Most groups can have their funding linked to someones monetary interests.

  4. I will not buy their alcohol, they have lost me as a customer! I will produce my own drinks. Greedy companies.

  5. The law enforcement lobby is not opposing prop 19 because of any concerns about driving safety. What law enforcement is truly concerned about is losing the billions and billions of dollars the government hands them every year for bulletproof vests and riot gear and helicopters so every sheriff department can have their own federally subsidized “drug task force” that justifies it’s existence by imprisoning some harmless slacker for growing plants, followed by a press conference to assure the public the war on drugs is a success. I guess the police are scared that once pot is legalized they may actually have to spend their time pursuing dangerous criminals.

  6. I think everybody knows that law enforcement is running scared. The war on drugs lets them do whatever they want in the name of getting "the bad guys", and if we start to end this war (which is REALLY a war on freedom of choice), they will lose money. Quite frankly it is time to legalize Marijuana in this country.

    We need a marijuana Moses in this country– "BARRACK OBAMA– LET MY PEOPLE GO!"

  7. Too bad I didn't have a spare million, I would donate it to MADD.

  8. The war on Terrorism like drugs will never be won.
    Why?
    Too much money involded

  9. As usual, the elephant in the room, is the pharma companies who sell Tylenol and other over the counter pain meds. THEY are the ones donating millions against legalization of pot. They will also NOT be selling as much antidepressants or anti anxiety drugs! Common sense.

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