Marijuana activist thinks state should consider a glass of wine proof of alcoholism? Sort of
Should a glass of wine be considered proof of alcoholism? If a child sees a parent sip some booze, should state personnel remove the youngster from the home? These suggestions and more are part of an open letter to Governor John Hickenlooper (see it below) written by Bill Althouse, a cannabis activist who's started an organization called Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana -- a reversal on the Amendment 64 pitch to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Althouse admits that he's not really calling for such measures -- but he's making a serious point.
Althouse is no fan of recommendations made by the Hickenlooper-appointed Amendment 64 task force. In his view, the group's members were motivated by what he calls the "Oh, we've got to save the children!" philosophy voiced by "all those parents who can't protect their kids and want the state to do it." But he thinks such folks have chosen the wrong target.
"If they're really serious about protecting kids, they've got to get alcohol away from them," he maintains. "That's the real killer. So if they're willing to get into people's lives, they should address the real dangers, not the perceived dangers."
A lifetime of experience led Althouse to these conclusions. He says he has "the alcoholic gene...it killed my father, it killed my grandfather," and it might have done the same to him if he hadn't quit consuming intoxicating spirits 37 years ago, in part by using marijuana to kick the habit.
In more recent years, while living in New Mexico, Althouse has focused on the biotechnology end of the marijuana industry. He says he was one of the country's "first producers of cannabidiol," the cannabis compound that has many medical applications but doesn't contain active THC. In his words, "I think the no-high potential of this plant is even more spectacular than the get-high potential."
His efforts got the attention of Albuquerque Journal, which profiled him in April 2012 -- and he saw Colorado as just the place for him to take his research and enterprise to the next level. But after relocating to the state, he says his dream of starting a cannabis cooperative ran afoul of regulations that appear to be coming down the pike.
"When I look at the recommendations, I see a vertically integrated monopoly controlled by a small group of people with huge piles of cash," he allows. "And if the reason for these draconian laws is fear for our children, let's look at that. If 75 percent of domestic abuse and violence is alcohol-related, then let's get draconian on what's really causing all those problems."
What's John Hickenlooper drinking? Beer or fracking fluid?
With that in mind, he suggests applying the restrictions either in place or suggested for marijuana to alcohol. No consumption of liquor in public, for example -- and no advertising anywhere other than adult publications.
"If it's about a threat to our kids, let's deal with the greatest threat," he argues. "Because if we're not going to deal with the greatest threat, it's obviously not about our kids."
Continue to read Bill Althouse's open letter to Governor John Hickenlooper about regulating alcohol like marijuana.