Beer distributors oppose pot legalization

Beer distributors oppose Prop. 19

On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors trade association gave $10,000 to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.

"Unless the beer distributors in California have suddenly developed a philosophical opposition to the use of intoxicating substances, the motivation behind this contribution is clear," Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in statement. "Plain and simple, the alcohol industry is trying to kill the competition. Their mission is to drive people to drink."

You stay classy, beer distributors.



18 Responses:

  1. mc_kingfish says:

    Oddly enough, Dominos Pizza and the makers of "Funyuns" contributed equal amounts to the other side of the debate.

    • dr_memory says:

      Sadly for the sake of the joke, I would not be at all surprised if Dominos had actually given money to the no-on-19 side. Tom Monahan is an evil, evil son of a bitch.

  2. philhagen2 says:

    A distributor's trade group did this, and put their members' names on the PR material without consultation or approval. See Sierra Nevada's clarification on their FB page.

    This is, of course, confused further by the fact that the DISTRIBUTORS' organization is using the PRODUCERS' names, even though they are different tiers on the alcohol hierarchy/racket.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the distributors themselves had no say in the PR materials.

  3. lafinjack says:

    The visible hand of the market?

  4. Luke Burton says:

    This kind of shit is just flat out anti-human.

    Let's spin it differently: "I am donating $10,000 to ensure that people who distribute or smoke weed are incarcerated at enormous cost to the taxpayer while simultaneously running a distribution channel for drug which is an order of magnitude more anti-social".

    Requisite pointer to Ben Elton's "High Society" ->

  5. paulney says:

    Only 10k? In terms of campaign money, that's laughable. Especially for someone as powerful as alcohol industry.

  6. revglenn says:

    people tend to be looking at this wrong. it's not that the booze companies are trying to eliminate the competition in pot. it's that prop 19 doesn't require the 3 tier system that alcohol sales in ca (and maybe the US, i don't know) require. The 3 tier system being producer to distributor to market. currently the CBBD represents the distribution companies, primarily owned by the big 3 beer companies. those 3 companies use the CBBD to control the majority beer distribution through CA allowing them to keep a nice strangle-hold on the market and competition. all their competition is distributed by them. they keep their competition distribution low AND get a cut of the profits from those beer companies. they employ extensive lobbying to keep this 3 tier system in place.

    the reason they are against prop 19 is because if it provides a legitimate example of a substance like marijuana being effectively distributed on a 2 tier system (producer to market) it can damage their case for the 3 tier system they employ.

    so, it's about keeping the competition down. but that competition isn't pot. it's other brewers. no less disgusting... but it should at least be noted, that if you don't like what the CBBD did, the best way to show it is by only drinking craft beer and not bud, miller, or coors.

    i came to this information 2 ways: 1) a movie called Beer Wars (which i highly recommend to anyone who likes beer) which sheds a lot of light on the industry
    2) response letters received by myself and others after i and some folks i know who are avid craft beer drinkers began writing to New Belgium and Stone and several other breweries that were on the list of CDDB members. most of them explained some part of this to us and said that they actually wouldn't comment on politics that don't involve beer or that they support legalization. some brewers, such as Sierra Nevada, are having their names removed from the CDDB associated members list and have actively gone against the CDDB on this.

    • j_b says:

      Interesting, thanks for the info.

    • gryazi says:

      You'd think I'd know this, being an ex-tobacco-dork (now an e-cig dork, so I usually smell a lot better even if I'm still full of nicotine), but does that exist for cigarettes as well? I was curious from the 'what the hell am I inhaling' side, not the 'how did it get from there to here' side.

      Obviously they have to pick up the tax stamp somewhere [in relevant jurisdictions, exactly like the pot tax that already exists in most states], which can technically be done by 'anyone who feels like figuring out that process,' but who really does it?

  7. sherm says:

    They (even the wineries for crissake) are doing the same thing in opposition to the WA initiative to end the ridiculous state monopoly on liquor sales. Talk about "I'm on board, pull up the gangplank..."

  8. baconmonkey says:
    Scotland faced a bill for a mandatory rate hike on booze prices. The standard "for the public good" line is trotted out. Scotland said no.

  9. baconmonkey says:

    CNN weighs in.

    • strspn says:

      Where is the epidemiology? Pot smokers die less and kill less than drunks. However, the only sharply increasing preventable causes of death are due to obesity and extreme weather.

  10. obreerbo says:

    A science-fiction story I once read predicted--apparently correctly--that beer companies would be a major part of the opposition to the legalization of marijuana, because they don't want any competing intoxicants on the market.

    That same story also predicted that another major source of opposition would be the timber companies, because of the threat of the increased use of hemp for high-quality, inexpensive paper. It will be interesting to see if that comes to pass as well.

    • terpsichoros says:

      Doubtful. Pot growers will have lots of stems to dispose of. If the paper companies buy it, the pot growers aren't disposing of a waste, they're selling a by-product. This gives the paper companies a cheaper, and less-regulated, supply than cutting down trees.

      Unless pot-quality hemp doesn't make good paper, in which case the timber and paper companies won't give a shit.