This trend has the alcohol industry worried. The fear is that as people pick their poison, they will choose marijuana for their intoxicant instead of beer or liquor. Some alcohol companies are giving money to anti-marijuana legalization efforts and re-adjusting their long-term plans.
I remember hearing that Willie Nelson praised marijuana because it helped him stop drinking. Alcohol reportedly made him mean; marijuana made him mellow.
Could it be that marijuana would be better for society than alcohol? Or would wide-spread marijuana use just give us a land of Lotus eaters?
Read the story in the Financial Times after the jump.
From US drinks industry ponders effect of cannabis legalisation, Financial Times:
This Thanksgiving, Californians may have been tempted to include an additional ingredient in their pumpkin pies. Marijuana was legalised in the US’s most populous state this month, reflecting a mellowing of social attitudes towards the drug.
But one sector is watching the spread of legalisation with a degree of trepidation: the $200bn US alcohol industry. Though alcohol and weed might seem eminently compatible to some, a number of brewers fear cannabis as a competitive threat, with some industry groups going as far as contributing funds to anti-legalisation campaigns.
Boston Beer Company, the largest craft brewer in the US with brands that include Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard cider, said the widening legalisation of marijuana posed a risk to its sales.
“It is possible that legal marijuana usage could adversely impact the demand for the company’s products,” argued its regulatory filing in February. The Massachusetts-based brewer added: “We also believe that impacts the craft beer industry.”
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