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WikiLeaks Emails Expose Alcohol Industry’s Paid Campaign to Stifle Pot Legalization

When the good people at Marijuana.com went through the WikiLeaks dump of the DNC emails, they found something unrelated to the trove of damning information on the criminal Hillary Clinton. Within the mountains of email texts, was a paid segment by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), stoking fear within Washington, encouraging politicians to be wary of marijuana legalization.

The May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle, a daily Politico newsletter for Capitol Hill insiders, contained this paid advertisement:

** A message from Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America: 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.

While the paid segment is not as fantastical as some of the claims coming from the reefer madness crowd, they are basing their paid propaganda on entirely skewed data.

In May, AAA’s safety foundation released a report concerning cannabis impairment and driving, which proved blood testing drivers for THC holds no scientific validity and should be abandoned. But a second part of the report found that — strictly statistically speaking — car crashes involving drivers who had consumed cannabis were on the rise.

In fact, the number of people involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for cannabis did rise — a statistical doubling — but several caveats to this information were flatly ignored by the mainstream and the WSWA for political advantage.

First, and of no small importance, cannabis isn’t even close to the leading cause of fatal crashes. In fact, when it comes to deadly accidents where the driver tested positive for cannabis, “most” had also consumed alcohol or other drugs.

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According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, of 592 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2013, 38 tested positive for cannabis. In the following year, of 619 deadly crashes, the number testing positive for cannabis jumped to 75. However, as Staci Hoff, Research Director for WTSC, explained:

“Most of these drivers, these 75 drivers, also had alcohol or other drugs” in their systems. Over a five-year period, just 1.8 percent of fatal crashes involved drivers who tested positive only for cannabis.

“So, in our study, we looked at all five years of date, 2010 to 2014,” Hoff continued, “and there were never 3,000 drivers involved in these fatal crashes during that time period. Only 56 of them had THC and only THC, nothing else.”

This skewed statistic has been used by law enforcement, mainstream media, and the alcohol lobby to stoke fear about legalizing weed. Politicians and the public alike, are eating it up and demanding that we have something that can measure ‘how high’ someone is while driving.

“There is currently no scientific consensus regarding the level at which marijuana consumption impairs a driver and no effective way to measure this impairment in the field,” WSWA said in a press release about the legislation. “This is problematic for law enforcement who, in contrast, can quickly and effectively establish a scientifically and legally-supported measure of alcohol impairment.”

As Marijuana.com points out, Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, said that the alcohol industry has its work cut out for itself in combatting drunk driving and should be wary about being seen as impeding cannabis legalization.

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“No one should be driving while impaired by marijuana, and we should certainly be doing more research into all aspects of the substance, including its impact on driving,” he told Marijuana.com in an email. “However, 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. They would do better to fund research on how to decrease drunk driving.”

However, the alcohol industry does not make money by attempting to decrease drunk driving. As long as they can use the government to keep their competition illegal, however, they will. And, this email is evidence that they are trying to do just that.

Nothing highlights the hypocrisy, immorality, and sheer idiocy of the drug war quite like marijuana prohibition. Here we have a medicine that kills cancer cells, saves the lives of countless epileptic children, heals broken bones, relieves pain, treats PTSD, is not dangerous, and exhibits a variety of other incredible benefits – yet the state will kill you over it.

So why do these tyrants keep it illegal?

If you want to know who profits from ruining lives and throwing marijuana users in cages, we need only look at who bribes (also known as lobbies) the politicians to keep the war on drugs alive. Aside from the alcohol industry throwing money at tyrannical legislation, they are joined by law enforcement and big pharma.

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Below is a list of the top five industries who need you locked in a cage for possessing a plant in order to ensure their job security.

  1. Police Unions: Coming in as the number one contributor to politicians for their votes to lock you in a cage for a plant are the police themselves. They risk taking massive pay cuts and losing all their expensive militarized toys without the war on drugs.
  2. Private Prison Corporations: No surprise here. The corporatist prison lobby is constantly pushing for stricter laws to keep their stream of tax dollars flowing.
  3. Alcohol and Beer Companies: These giant corporations hate competition, so why not pay millions to keep a cheaper and far safer alcohol alternative off the market? Case in point, the WSWA.
  4. Pharmaceutical Corporations: The hypocrisy of marijuana remaining a Schedule 1 drug, “No Medical Use Whatsoever,” seems criminal when considering that pharmaceutical companies reproduce a chemical version of THC and can market and sell it as such. Ever hear of Marinol? Big pharma simply uses the force of the state to legislate out their competition; that happens to be nature.
  5. Prison Guard Unions: The prison guard unions are another group, so scared of losing their jobs, that they would rather see thousands of non-violent and morally innocent people thrown into cages than look for another job.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.  and now on Steemit
  • Robert Farrior

    All the oppressors are going to have to pay for what they’ve done!

  • Bob Btme

    Every time the issue of cannabis DUI comes up I reference this 2015 NHTSA study that showed no increased crash risk among cannabis users and a 400% increase among alcohol-intoxicated drivers. This was by far the largest study of its kind ever done – this is the organization of engineering and safety experts that performs crash test ratings and certifications:


    The alcohol industry (and others) now see repeal of cannabis prohibition as inevitable, the next best thing for them is to keep prices high with taxes and nuisance regulations, and possibly large-scale witch hunts of cannabis drivers.

    • Gerard Gibney

      at the very least, we can laugh at them while their sales plummet. I was a heavy alcohol user for years because it was so hard for me to buy cannabis, and wasnt socially acceptable, etc etc. alcohol is a terrible, poisonous option that is probably one of the worst recreational drugs I have ever experienced, but it is omnipresent. cannabis renders alcohol irrelevant and obsolete. I am the voice of an entire generation, you obsolete dinosaurs. no one wants martinis or gin and tonics anymore and the future generation migt actually live long lives instead of being filled with red faced, abusive alcoholics!

      • Dawn87123

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      • Bob Btme

        same here buddy, you are describing my life experience as well.

  • Elle

    Same with decriminalizing prostitution!! There’s a bunch of religious fanatics and feminist fanatics who use totally bogus sex trafficking rhetoric absolutely based on junk science and outright bullshit not only to block decrim but to further criminalize adults engaging in consensual sexual commerce. The real kicker is they form non profits and get federally funded to go around disseminating their bullshit narratives. Please support decrimNOW.com

    • Bob Btme

      Thank Elle, totally agree – let’s “help” exploited girls by sending them to work for violent criminal pimps! forcing them to give free sex to cops, etc. Prostitution laws are awful.

      No one ever talks about the fact that prostitution is pretty much legal in all of Europe.

  • ratnn

    The chemical industry and paper pulp industries and cotton cloth industries hate Hemp which is under the same prohibition law as marijuana because they both have THC

    • Gerard Gibney

      the chemical companies and oil based manufacturing stand the lose the most from hemp. huge, patentable, inferior to hemp manufacturing processes become obsolete and irrevelant in the face of hemp.

  • larry

    That’s what happens when big business corrupts our politicians. The alcohol and pharmacy company’s are in a panic attack because hey this stuff really does help with not only pain but a bunch of other ailments. Tax it like alcohol Kansas it will help with your self inflicted budget woes just look at the $$$$$$$$$ Colorado is getting. !

    • Gerard Gibney

      alcohol and pharma become irrelevant, profit losing initiatives in the face of free choice. EVERYONE prefers cannabis.

  • Cris Crapello

    Gotta also look at the weapons manufacturing industry that profits immensely off of the drug war. What it really comes down to is amending the Constitution to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech, then pass sweeping anti corruption and gerrymandering legislation like the American Anti Corruption Act. We must return the power of government to control of the people.

  • taobmaetS ooGcM

    I didn’t see any THC levels mentioned with regard to “testing positive for THC” discussion. Have they taken into account the fact that the use of pot can be detected WEEKS after actual use? Were the ostensibly-impaired drivers high, or had they simply been high the day/week before?

  • centgeorgiaboy

    Clinton is not now nor has ever been a criminal slick- you are obviously confused by the lies of trump and his minions

    • Enaz

      Ever heard of something called The Clinton Foundation?

  • Boo Radley

    Why don’t they promote it as a hangover cure? Because it’s the best hangover cure, EVER!

  • SAINT Brand Cannabis
  • Wendt Alan

    You left out wacko Bible-thumpers.

  • JJ Holtom

    It’s not surprising to me … oil & gas do this to renewable energies all the time. Wind, solar, hydroelectric and cars that can run on orange peel ! there’s been so many world changing patents that corporations have bought, destroyed and buried. its how industries survive and its how the world works! it’s called culling the competition. The alcohol industry is so big cause we all support it.

    medical cannabis should be legalised ! for terminally ill, cancer patients and people with diseases.

    And i’m not talking about big joints filled with tobacco like most seem to think this whole debate is about ! …. going full on Amsterdam is NOT a good idea. That will offer up a morale dilemma and new wave of mental health issues associated with smoking weed. if legalised It should be in liquid / vaporized form for terminally ill.

    Just my humble opinion as a average Joe.

    • Enaz

      New wave of mental health issues? Does Amsterdam even have increased problems of mental illness since the legalization of weed? Seriously though what mental issues could be worse than the ones already caused by alcohol?

      Going full on Amsterdam sounds great to me! Much better than a country burdened by Alcoholism and Pills.

      • JJ Holtom

        I’ll rephrase Enaz, “increased mental health issues.” Are you seriously proposing that cannabis is a completely harmless drug ? it’s a drug. and drugs are drugs. I didn’t at any stage say alcohol or pills were good ? your a strawman with a strawman argument. Or your clearly a stoner , who misuses marijuana / hash or whatever you want to call the shit you smoke. And to which country are you referring ? if your talking about the U.S then yes. it has the biggest pill popping culture in the world. housewives, mothers, fathers, young and old all popping oxycontin like its going out of fashion. Oxy is an opioid which is a cousin of HEROIN the worst drug of all. Don’t be so silly and brash when discussing drugs. Your very quick to the point the finger. Also note i’m not hiding behind a fake profile unlike you. I have stated my opinion – take it or leave it 🙂 either way I couldn’t care less what you think. good luck.

        • Enaz

          Wow… that was a freaking hostile response for someone who describes themselves as a humble average joe lol. Sorry if I struck a nerve but I think it is well known fact by now that weed legalization = less alcohol and drug problems (also less crime, but that is more debatable). I know at least 2 people who would certainly still be pill junkies if they didn’t have access to legal weed. And thanks so much for educating me about opiods, I had no idea what oxy was /s. Fyi I wasn’t just referring to pain pills but also benzos, which believe it or not can actually be worse than heroin (seriously withdrawals for benzos last like 5 times as long) and no I am not saying weed is completely harmless but it far less harmful than you are implying

          “a drug is a drug” yeah of course and all drugs can have bad effects if you have too much, even aspirin. Also people are gonna do drugs regardless of the circumstances so they might as well have access to something that is relatively safe and practically impossible to overdose on. I hope we can at least agree that weed is a better choice than the other recreational drugs people tend to use.

          Speaking of strawmen you never actually answered my original question: Has Amsterdam seen a significant increase in mental illness since the introduction of legal weed? How about California? Or any other legal place for that matter? As far as I know there has not been any statistical increase. Lets get real: Marijuana probably doesn’t cause mental illness, but it is true that people who are already mentally ill are more likely to smoke (for what should be obvious reasons).

          I have chronic insomnia and tried 6 different meds + countless herbal remedy’s and the only thing that helps in anyway whatsoever is marijuana. It has a lot of legitimate uses and it is pretty narrow minded to think that only the terminally ill should have access to it. And yes I am from the United States (of course I am that’s why I am commenting on this article)

          lol nice try but I don’t need to hide my identity, idk why it matters to you but I could care less if you know: my name is Zane Rogers and I stand behind what I say. Ill even talk to you in person if you want 😉

    • Enaz

      Also could you possibly elaborate when you say it would cause a “morale dilemma”?

  • kathy

    The lumber industry also opposes legalization, hemp grows 7xs faster than trees and can be used for paper products. Also, hemp oil can be used a fuel, so the fossil fuel companies oppose it.

  • Noel Singletary

    By natural law, my body belongs to me and I can put anything I want into it. I can take care of my body or I can abuse it. The choice is up to me but if I make the wrong decision to drive under the influence and injure or kill another person, then I should have to pay the consequences for my actions.