Marijuana.com sifted through the WikiLeaks dump of the DNC emails in 2016 and they discovered a paid segment by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) that persuaded politicians to not condone marijuana legalization.
In the May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle, a daily Politico newsletter for Capitol Hill insiders, the WSWA’s advertisement reads:
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.
23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana while Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and D.C. have legalized possession and recreational use. 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.
Tom Angell of Marijuana.com, who is responsible for finding the specific email, says that while the email itself isn’t nearly as secretive and deceptive as the internal DNC messages, it does show the growing concern over marijuana competing with the alcohol industry, with more states continuing to pass reform laws in retaliation.
Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project stated that the alcohol industry should pay closer attention to drunk driving as opposed to pot legalization.
“Given that driving under the influence of marijuana is already illegal and that the existing research shows marijuana’s effect on driving ability is significantly less than alcohol, it is difficult to see a legitimate reason for the alcohol industry to be taking up this issue,” Fox said. “They would do better to fund research on how to decrease drunk driving.”
It’s pretty crazy how alcohol, as substance that is clearly damaging to our biology in several different ways has remained legal for so long, while cannabis has remained illegal and even in places where it is now legalized, it’s still highly stigmatized.