Many legal marijuana activists speculate that the alcohol industry has been secretly giving the green sector the stink eye behind their backs. The possibility that something better, safer and less deadly could dethrone alcohol as the recreational medium of choice in the country is very real (and we have the numbers to prove it).
New evidence, courtesy of Wikileaks, revealed that theories surrounding the controversial fight could actually be true. While the notorious group was busy leaking a set of emails about the Democratic National Convention, a document appeared from the pile that showed the dark motives of the alcohol industry.
The document in question showed that Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), an association that represents wholesalers in the wine and spirits sector, paid for anti-cannabis content to appear in Huddle. The newsletter is produced by the Politico online publication and its reader demographic includes Capitol Hill insiders. Below is an excerpt from the ad, which was released in the May edition of the newsletter:
“While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana… In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana.”
“Congress should fully fund Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 Appropriations process to document the prevalence of marijuana impaired driving, outline impairment standards and determine driving impairment detection methods.”
Evidence of anti-cannabis efforts from the alcohol industry has never been this clear and direct. The WSWA’s aggressive campaign proves that the group sees the success of legal cannabis as a threat to their future.
Other anti-pot organizations have also made moves to suppress the legal weed market. In May, the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association made attempts to keep weed a felony in the state by donating $10,000 to local anti-cannabis groups. Recently, in Florida, the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust through Jenkins Barnett (daughter of Publix founder George Jenkins) donated a whopping $800,000 to local groups fighting legalization.
Cannabis and Crash Risks
WSWA’s claims that weed played an influential role in the increase of traffic fatalities in Colorado is false. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a timely report, which concluded that cannabis consumption does not increase crash risks in drivers. For drunk drivers, researchers found that the risk of getting into an accident increased by 400 percent. Furthermore, a 2011 study conducted by D. Mark Anderson, an economics professor from Montana State University, and Daniel Rees, from the University of Colorado Denver, concluded that locations with medical marijuana laws experienced a nine percent decrease in traffic-related accidents.