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Hoppy Brew Year's Eve!
April 7, 2006 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Today, April 7, is the 73rd anniversary of the end of Prohibition, marking the day in 1933 when FDR signed emergency legislation to allow the sale of beer (and reportedly had the first public delivery of beer sent to the White House). Breweries all over America are celebrating Brew Year's Eve. In other news, marijuana prohibition has continued in the US for almost 70 years. There's a Nevada initiative on the ballot this November to end it -- by allowing the legal cultivation and sale of marijuana.
posted by crazymonk (59 comments total)

 
Well, I'm a go get drunk.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2006


Anyone see the St. Valentine's Day Massacre show on History today? Makes me proud to be from Chicago... ahh capone.
posted by WetherMan at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2006


I'm already one sheet to the wind, one to go.
Then it's off to score a spliff.
posted by Balisong at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2006


From the initiative link: "they [current marijuana laws] keep police from focusing on DUI and other real crimes". Really? Police are catching less DUI offenders, due to pot law enforcement?
posted by Gyan at 4:07 PM on April 7, 2006


I second Astro Zombie. I'm getting wasted tonight.

Gyan, do you really think that the harsh enforcement of marijuana laws don't draw attention to crimes that are actually dangerous? DUIs might not be the best example, but it's certainly the case.
posted by borkingchikapa at 4:09 PM on April 7, 2006


From the initiative link: "they [current marijuana laws] keep police from focusing on DUI and other real crimes". Really? Police are catching less DUI offenders, due to pot law enforcement?

I'd be willing to bet that Drunk Drivers probably kill more people then all other criminals combined. Or at least more then any other spesific crime.
posted by delmoi at 4:13 PM on April 7, 2006


Today is also National Health Day and the anniversary of the first intentional synthesis of LSD!
posted by borkingchikapa at 4:14 PM on April 7, 2006


I too, will celebrate this auspicious holiday.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:24 PM on April 7, 2006


Viva beer!
posted by billysumday at 4:25 PM on April 7, 2006


delmoi : "I'd be willing to bet that Drunk Drivers probably kill more people then all other criminals combined."

A different point. These folks claim that repealing prohibition will help cops focus on DUIs. I don't think current pot enforcement diverts cops on the road looking out for DUIs (& in general) anymore than a coffee break. What will change is the funds diverted to drug law enforcement and a reduction of personnel working in such units.
posted by Gyan at 4:29 PM on April 7, 2006


Given the evidence I was offered over the time, I too agree that prohibition positive effects are likely to be negated by the different costs of prohibition, the creation a black market fueled by a demand that seems to be natural. The net effect is negative, so prohibition doesn't "work"

Yet if the problem is preventing widespread common use of damaging substances , we should ask ourselves

a) what are the cause(s) that lead to use of psycoactive subtances ?

b) what can we do to break this demand without simply outlawing or imposing our morals on others ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:30 PM on April 7, 2006


I for one welcome this promotion of illegal drugs disguised as some crap about beer.
posted by fire&wings at 4:33 PM on April 7, 2006


Hey, Prohibition is prohibition.
posted by crazymonk at 4:38 PM on April 7, 2006


elpapacito : "Yet if the problem is preventing widespread common use of damaging substances , we should ask ourselves

"a) what are the cause(s) that lead to use of psycoactive subtances ?"


You're assuming that all users need to be stopped. As this slide below from the leaked British Govt. report shows, that's not the case.


posted by Gyan at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2006


Yay for beer! Proof God wants us to be happy.
posted by loquacious at 4:42 PM on April 7, 2006


[16] Proof God wants us to be happy.
posted by carsonb at 4:55 PM on April 7, 2006


This reminds me of that commercial where some stoners are at a drive through, and they proceed to run over and kill a child on a bike....

As... motivation killing as it is.. marijuana is far, far less dangerous and harmful to society than alcohol, and when you think about it, it's a little rediculous that use of the one is legal, and use of the other is harshly, harshly penalized..

In any case, I too will be dutifully showing my respect to this holiday tonight.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 4:58 PM on April 7, 2006


gyan : well read my point b) please , it is pretty clear I am not assuming _all_ users _need_ to be stopped, even if I don't express that explicitly.

The slide you posted is interesting even if necessarily way too synthetic, but it only points out some of the social and psycological factors that may lead to abuse of any substance.

In a way the abuse of substance in such subject becomes a revealing agent of underlying problems ; in other words the drug abuse is an alarm signal. By analogy, if your bones break too often then there is a problem with them, but you discover that only when you already broke them twice (assuming no other medical analysis was done)

That's problematic because waiting for someone to abuse a substance allows him/her to be damanged and to suffer from psycological and physical addiction ; also there is no guarantee help with reach the person in a timely and damage reducing way, or that it reaches the person at all.
posted by elpapacito at 5:05 PM on April 7, 2006


Well, this should be all about all kinds of delicious alchohol, but since this thread went pretty beerish, I'm raising a New Belgium Skinny Dip and dusting off a quote I use far too much in conversation

"Any barbarian can smush up some grapes and leave them in a sack for a week. It takes civilization to make beer"

And yeah, let's end costly prohibition. It just gives criminals limitless funding opportunities.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:05 PM on April 7, 2006


Call me when there's a federal initiative.

Otherwise, all you're going to see is yet another state in which state authorities are at loggerheads with federal authorities. Meanwhile, people get arrested and incarcerated while this political pissing match between the conservative religious right and the rest of the world continues unabated.
posted by FormlessOne at 5:06 PM on April 7, 2006


Well, this should be all about all kinds of delicious alchohol

I prefer a good whiskey, Dewar's is a good one.
posted by Raoul.Duke at 5:08 PM on April 7, 2006


MMMmmmmmMaker's Mark.
posted by Balisong at 5:12 PM on April 7, 2006


As much as I may be an advocate of marijuana legalization, I can actually recognize that there is one, and one only valid reason for not allowing it yet:

DUI.

I know people who drive stoned. Yeh yeh, they claim they drive better--all bullshit. The thing is, some of them would never drive drunk (a piece of hypocrisy that I can attribute only to the success of anti-drunk-driving campaigns). But if they were to drive under the influence of alcohol, and a cop stopped them, there's a very simple test to determine whether or not they were legally impaired.

I don't know if there have been any studies examining what blood concentration of THC is considered safe for operating a vehicle, and at what point one should be considered impaired. Given THC's retention in the bloodstream, I imagine this would be a difficult number to determine. Further, I don't know of any simple to administer test, that is as noninvasive as a breathalyzer, which can be used roadside to test for THC impairment.

Given that, and that alone, I can understand holding off on complete legalization of marijuana, to the point where we'd be seeing it sold in stores. Up here, at least in most provinces, the distribution system is already in place: provincial liquor stores. So at least here, distribution would be a fairly simple process. In the USA, I imagine there would be some difficulty, given thta liquor (depending on state and county) is available at the supermarket. I'm sure that could be worked out, though.

What I definitely have no problem with is decriminalization. The threshold for what is considered 'possession with intent to sell' is fucking retarded in most places. (Canada's threshold has gone up recently by a fair amount). In the days when I was smoking weed on a regular basis, it wasn't unusual in the least for me to buy a quarter-ounce. Seriously. When you're buying stuff at the grocery store--or even the liquor store--do you only get as much as you want for that particular day? Usually not. You stock up. Possession laws need to reflect this.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2006


elpapacito : "but it only points out some of the social and psycological factors that may lead to abuse of any substance."

I would think that the dominant primary factors were identified. The whole point of 'risk factors' is that it can allow you to target the demographic before the damage occurs. If one couldn't correlate certain aspects with problematic use, then there wouldn't be "risk factors".
posted by Gyan at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2006


The inevitable self-link:

Mmm, deadened the old frontal lobe.

Been drinking a lot of whisky sours lately. Not fancy, but takes care of business.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy : "I know people who drive stoned. Yeh yeh, they claim they drive better--all bullshit.

The driving "better" part seems hokey, but cannabis isn't a major risk factor: Psychoactive substance use and the risk of motor vehicle accidents (PDF).
posted by Gyan at 5:38 PM on April 7, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: what about people who drive hecked up on prescription pills? or who haven't slept in 90 hours? how do you test for those things?
posted by crazymonk at 5:52 PM on April 7, 2006


Something in my gut, Gyan, tells me that it can very well be a major risk factor in sudden accidents. Reaction time is slowed when you're stoned--depending on the degree of stonification of course--and that can make the difference between a fender scrape and a collision. And from what I can understand of the study, it's still a highly non-trivial risk factor.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:52 PM on April 7, 2006


I prefer a good whiskey, Dewar's is a good one

I don't prefer, but I also enjoy. Finished my beer so I think I'll head downstairs and have a Balvenie.

Yay, drinking on metafilter! (I feel 15)
posted by lumpenprole at 5:53 PM on April 7, 2006


also, from the initiative about page:

"[I]f a motorist kills someone while under the influence of marijuana or any other substance, the initiative doubles the maximum fine and prison sentence for people convicted of such offenses."
posted by crazymonk at 5:53 PM on April 7, 2006


The breathalyzer came long after alcohol prohibition was lifted. The lack of a good sobriety test didn't prevent alcohol from being sold why should it prevent pot from being sold.
posted by I Foody at 5:55 PM on April 7, 2006


gyan: yeah correlated factors are important and a lot better then pure guessing, brutal demonization et al. Yet I guess they weren't discovered yesterday or a year ago ?

Part of these factors can be reduced by mass media and school education : maybe because I live in italy I was maybe twice reached in my life with pertinent information, mostly demonization and induction of fear.

Where is the mass education required to tackle part of the factors ? Am I the only one missing it ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:57 PM on April 7, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy : "Something in my gut, Gyan, tells me that it can very well be a major risk factor in sudden accidents."

Sure, but 'risk factor' refers to gross differences, across a population. There are probably quite a few alcohol drivers with less than 0.08 BAC who are responsible for accidents, but as a group, the risk factor is considered not significant enough to warrant driving prohibition.

And from what I can understand of the study, it's still a highly non-trivial risk factor.

Not sure what this means. The odds ratio for cannabis-only drivers was 1.22, which is a pretty small effect size. Generally, you are looking for atleast a doubling, to be sure that noise wasn't a factor, which is why the study authors say, "No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis."
posted by Gyan at 5:58 PM on April 7, 2006


crazymonk >>> "dirtynumbangelboy: what about people who drive hecked up on prescription pills? or who haven't slept in 90 hours? how do you test for those things?"

You can't, of course. But we feel as a society that it's important to be able to 1) discern whether alcohol is a contributing factor in accidents, and 2) prevent people from operating dangerous machinery under its influence. Given that one of the major rallying cries of the marijuana legalization movement is 'it's no different than alcohol' (in terms of morality of use), I see no reason why it shouldn't be treated differently when it comes to operating under the influence.

My gut also tells me, and I admit freely that I have zero evidence to back this up, that the percentage of people who would drive drunk or stoned is several orders of magnitude higher than those who would drive hopped up on prescription medications, or when sleep-deprived. That said, however, I think that anyone caught driving under such circumstances should be penalized precisely as if they had been impaired by alcohol.

It may surprise some of you to know that despite my very leftist liberal tendencies on many issues, I favour draconian laws when it comes to impaired driving. First offence, you lose your licence for a month, right there on the road, and your car is impounded. Getting home is your own damn business, though I imagine it would be fair to allow them to ride in the cruiser back to the local police department. There would probably be paperwork, anyway. Second offence, you lose your licence for a year. Third offence, you lose it for life, with no chance of getting it back. Similarly, I would argue for severe penalties for people driving drunk on suspended or revoked licences. As is already done in many jurisdictions, I favour charges of murder in the first degree (except in jurisdictions where such a charge carries the death penalty) if you kill someone in an accident and you were legally impaired at the time.

Impaired driving is fucking bullshit, and there is never any need for it. If you're choosing to go out (or stay in) and get trashed, then you deal with the consequences arising from that. One of those is that you do not get behind the wheel, no matter what. You call a cab, you have a DD, you call a friend, you fucking walk, but you do not go out on the road.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:00 PM on April 7, 2006


I Foody >>> "The breathalyzer came long after alcohol prohibition was lifted. The lack of a good sobriety test didn't prevent alcohol from being sold why should it prevent pot from being sold."

Because drunk driving was not considered a problem in that social context. It is now. Why should driving stoned be treated any differently? This is what most pot activists fail to address: if you want marijuana treated like alcohol, then that applies across the board. You don't really get to say "Legalize weed! It's just like alcohol! But you're not allowed to actually restrict use in reasonable ways to protect society"

Gyan >>> "Not sure what this means. The odds ratio for cannabis-only drivers was 1.22, which is a pretty small effect size."

Sorry, that was me not understanding the tables. My bad; I have never had a good head for statistics. I still have a gut feeling--again, with no evidence, I admit--that there's something wrong with the data.

Yes, I should hit preview before posting. Apologies.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:04 PM on April 7, 2006


elpapacito : "Where is the mass education required to tackle part of the factors ?"

It doesn't exist because the US (and most other) government(s) doesn't recognize legitimate drug use. John Walters, head of ONDCP, says "Illegal drugs are inherently dangerous, corrupting and incompatible with health and freedom". That stance doesn't allow room to acknowledge 'risk factors' since simply using the drug is the risk factor. Education will only come with a change in attitude.
posted by Gyan at 6:08 PM on April 7, 2006


Interesting link thanks gyan
posted by elpapacito at 6:13 PM on April 7, 2006


I'll drink to that. Mind you, I'll drink to anything.

Boy was prohibition one of America's dumber ideas or what? And no shortage of competition, either.
posted by Decani at 6:37 PM on April 7, 2006


Something in my gut, Gyan, tells me that it can very well be a major risk factor in sudden accidents. Reaction time is slowed when you're stoned

While I'm a huge advocate of not driving while impaired on anything at all, something tells me you've never played video games while stoned on good pot.

Again, driving while impaired on anything is bad.

But my anecdotal experience tells me that for many activities my reaction times and physics prediction abilities increase while under the influence of THC.
posted by loquacious at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2006


"L'Chaim"
posted by caddis at 6:41 PM on April 7, 2006


loquacious >>> "While I'm a huge advocate of not driving while impaired on anything at all, something tells me you've never played video games while stoned on good pot.

Dude, I lived in BC for three years. And Toronto's supply is damn good, too. The difference that I see with video games is that thye have such a tight focus. Ever been playing a video game stoned, and not noticed hwat other people were doing around you? That's exactly what I'm talking about; noticing the behaviour of other cars on the road. Slower to notice, slower to react.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:41 PM on April 7, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy's Draconian DWI laws are lighter than the laws are here in North Carolina. First offense: Lose license for one year. Second offense (if within seven years) is minimum seven days and maximum one year in prison (license taken for four years if occurs within three years of previous conviction). Third offense (if within seven years) is minimum thirty days and maximum two years in prison (license taken permanently).

For those who are so anti-DWI, it is worth noting that it is the only crime that I know of where the defendant does not know whether he is committing a crime when performing the act. It is perfectly legal to drive a car and have a BAC of .07. It is suddenly a serious crime to drive a car and have a BAC of .08. Do you know what your BAC is at all times? Imagine sitting in front of the Intoxylizer 5000 and waiting to see if you have committed a crime or not. It is hard to find yourself in that position with any other crime.
posted by flarbuse at 7:18 PM on April 7, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, while I agree with you on tough sanctions against folks that drive impaired, be it by alcohol, marijuana (and I know someone who failed a roadside sobriety test and was convicted for driving under the influence of marijuana with a 0% BAC), or talking on the cell phone (which some studies show is just as bad as a .08% BAC hands free or not), that is no excuse for prohibition. Should there be a prohibition against cell phones because people are stupid enough to talk on them while driving? Hell no. These are 2 seperate issues. Don't continue to confuse the two, OK? Thanks.
posted by Eekacat at 7:26 PM on April 7, 2006



posted by wakko at 7:37 PM on April 7, 2006


It may surprise some of you to know that despite my very leftist liberal tendencies on many issues, I favour draconian laws when it comes to impaired driving.

Sounds like run-of-the-mill authoritarianism to me.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:17 PM on April 7, 2006


One more 7&7 for me, and then sweet unconsciousness!

Canadian whisky is so smooth. And, hey, it's really a product of prohibition!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:58 PM on April 7, 2006


Hope you are home, AZ
posted by Cranberry at 9:21 PM on April 7, 2006


If the government put out an open request for bids to invent and manufacture devices, to be utilized in every county in the country, to test marijuana intoxication tomorrow, there will be a thousand proposals by the end of the week. It's not like they're asking for a perpetual-motion machine, folks.
posted by 235w103 at 9:56 PM on April 7, 2006


Tullamore Dew for me! Cheers!

Honestly cant stand any (mass produced) whiskey made in the states, although I have had a couple of top shelf bourbons that were palatable. Scotch is really where its at, but I dont make enough for that to be my drinkin' whiskey.
posted by elendil71 at 10:10 PM on April 7, 2006


You know, I'm drinking Gentleman Jim from the bottle, and I totally reject the "WORLD'S FINEST WHISKEY" note on the top of the label.
BULLSHIT, JIM.
posted by 235w103 at 10:35 PM on April 7, 2006


Eekacat >>> "Should there be a prohibition against cell phones because people are stupid enough to talk on them while driving? Hell no. These are 2 seperate issues. Don't continue to confuse the two, OK? Thanks."

WTF? What is it with people around here these days and completely ignoring what I'm writing? Let me try again:

I FAVOUR LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA. Is that clear? Just because I happen to think that there are a few things that need to be ironed out first, don't you dare paint me as someone who supports this mindless 'war on drugs'/prohibition/whatever you want to call it. I've been happily smoking pot in varying quantities for a decade now. For fuck's sake. READ WHAT I HAVE TO SAY AND AT LEAST ATTEMPT TO COMPREHEND IT before making such statements.

OK? Thanks.

As for prohibition on cellphones... of course not, don't be a tool. However, there should be astonishingly stiff penalties for people who use them without a handsfree unit while driving. People fail to recognize that they are piloting hundreds of pounds of deadly metal when they're driving. Sure, it's not a difficult skill to learn, but it is one that requires focus.

Eekacat >>> "(and I know someone who failed a roadside sobriety test and was convicted for driving under the influence of marijuana with a 0% BAC)"

Well if they were THC-impaired and presumably hadn't been drinking, the 0% BAC is hardly surprising, is it? What exactly is your point here?

flarbuse >>> "For those who are so anti-DWI, it is worth noting that it is the only crime that I know of where the defendant does not know whether he is committing a crime when performing the act."

That's a great point, and it's difficult to reconcile that with the rest of our legal system. The only way I've found to do so is the whole 'ignorance is no defence' doctrine. You chose to put alcohol in your system, and you should know that more than one drink is going to put your BAC in the red zone, if not over the line. Not knowing the precise amount is kind of immaterial; driving drunk is fucking stupid. Driving after having more than one drink is stupid.

Kwantsar >>> "It may surprise some of you to know that despite my very leftist liberal tendencies on many issues, I favour draconian laws when it comes to impaired driving.

"Sounds like run-of-the-mill authoritarianism to me."


And your point is precisely what? I should be in danger because you (the generalized 'you', not you specifically) figure it's okay to get hammered and hop behind the wheel? Fuck that. I draw the line at many laws, but when it comes to your recreational choices affecting my safety, too bad. For the record, this applies to me too: I'm a smoker, and have had no problem whatsoever with laws in recent years banning smoking indoors. I choose to do it, but I have no right to force you to breathe it as well. If there were separate roadways for people driving drunk, sure... have at it. Down a bottle of Night Train and go driving.

But there aren't. So... too bad if you think it's authoritarianism. It's my safety.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:41 PM on April 7, 2006


My point was that it doesn't take a blow test to check for impairedness, nitwit. Have a clue, seriously. YOU were the one saying there's no test when in fact there is. You do know that before they make you blow in a tube that they have physical tests they make you do? You know, like walk a line, touch your nose, recite the alphabet backwards? The person I knew failed those tests, yet still blew a 0%. Oh, and he got arrested! You are the one that said that you support prohibition as long as there is no breathalizer equivilent for marijuana, yet cell phone use, fatigue, prescription meds are all also risks. Don't you support prohibition of all these until there is the equivilent to a breathilizer test for them?

Seriously when you pull crap like this out of your ass:

My gut also tells me, and I admit freely that I have zero evidence to back this up, that the percentage of people who would drive drunk or stoned is several orders of magnitude higher than those who would drive hopped up on prescription medications, or when sleep-deprived.

you get a big ignore from me. Grow a fact before you get an argument. OK? Thanks.
posted by Eekacat at 11:14 PM on April 7, 2006


I know people who drive stoned. Yeh yeh, they claim they drive better--all bullshit.

I will leave it for someone else to find the paper, but one study was indeed done regarding alcohol / marijuana induced driving impairment and surprisingly, for the researchers at least, driving skills did in fact increase for the first hour or so after getting high. They dipped slightly below average after that, but who knows what kind of ditch weed they were giving them, and maybe it was just time for another one.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:29 AM on April 8, 2006


Astro has it for the Al K. Hall, Canadian :-) I'll have a snort of the Crown Royal, thanks. (I drink so little whiskey, I get to have good stuff).
posted by Goofyy at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2006


Hear, hear, on the Canadian whisky. Royal Reserve for me, thanks! I also favor legalization of pot, and agree that driving under the influence of anything (including lack of sleep) is irresponsible.
posted by DesbaratsDays at 10:15 AM on April 8, 2006



eekacat My point was that it doesn't take a blow test to check for impairedness, nitwit. Have a clue, seriously.

Enough with the fucking ad hominems already. I am fully aware that there are physical tests--walk a straight line, touch fingertips to your nose, recite the alphabet backwards--but if those were considered sufficient unto themselves, then why do we need the breathalyzer test as well? It's to provide concrete proof, something measurable and documentable.

Eekacat >>> "Don't you support prohibition of all these until there is the equivilent to a breathilizer test for them?"

No, I don't, for the reasons outlined above. What part of "I don't support prohibition" are you not getting? Are you making the common fallacy of "If he doesn't agree 100% with my position then he must be 100% against it"?

As for my gut feeling.. I admitted it was a gut feeling. I said there's nothing to back it up. It's just a hunch I have based on what I have seen amongst people I know. That's all. I never asked anyone to give it factual basis.

Seriously, dude. Grow up.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:33 AM on April 8, 2006


But there aren't. So... too bad if you think it's authoritarianism. It's my safety.

Heh. Very authoritarian of you to write that. You shouldn't bristle at the label-- it seems quite fitting.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:16 PM on April 8, 2006


I'm bristling at the obvious implication behind it, Kwantsar.

Disingenuousness doesn't become you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:24 PM on April 8, 2006


There's no implication at all. I must not be as clever as you suspect me to be.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:26 PM on April 8, 2006


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