Stoners vs. Drunks

Contributing Editor and Brickbats author Charles Oliver points to a brewing fight between boozers and stoners. Or more specifically, between Modern Drunkard magazine and SAFER, a pro-pot and anti-alcohol group active in Colorado. From an article in MD:

As an alcohol enthusiast, you're probably aware that the PC nannies on the Left and the Bible thumpers on the Right are aligned against us. And fanatical Muslims, of course.

What you might not know is an even more virulently anti-alcohol group has sprung to life right in our midst. How virulent, you ask?

Their propaganda campaign would make the Anti-Saloon League blush. Their billboards announce that alcohol is the culprit behind incest and child molestation. They've put out wanted posters for brewer Pete Coors and Denver mayor (and bar owner) John Hinkenlooper, accusing them of "dealing a deadly drug." They say anyone selling alcohol, bartenders included, is a murderous pusher.

Go to their website and the first thing you'll notice is a graphic blaming alcohol for domestic violence, rape, and murder. They lay Mark Foley's perversity, Mel Gibson's anti-Semitism and even Dick Cheney's shotgun incident squarely at alcohol's feet. Their logic seems to be: Have you done anything wrong? Do you drink? Then it's alcohol's fault!

So who is this diabolical organization? Who could have so much hate in their heart for the thing we love so much?

You'll never guess.

It's  SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation.) A marijuana legalization group.

Et tu, Bongus?

Who would have guessed? We've always considered them allies, haven't we? There's a helluva lot of crossover between pot smokers and boozeheads, and I think it safe to say drinkers are many times more likely to support the legalization of marijuana than teetotalers.

Whole thing here.

Dogs doing yoga? Potheads attacking beer? Truly, these are the end times.

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  • ||

    This seems the equivalent of pro gay marriage people pushing legislation to force heterosexual married couples to conceive within two years. They don't really believe it, but if they can negatively affect everyone as they are being negatively affected, perhaps people will see the folly in their own logic. I like it.

  • ||

    I visited the website. While they sound like they're anti-alcohol, I don't see any calls for the banning of booze. The tactic, instead, seems to be "Booze is worse than pot, and IT'S legal, so why not weed?" Sensible enough. If I were in their position, I'd make the same argument. Unfortunately, part of this campaign seems to involve exaggerating the problems that booze causes.

  • ||

    "This seems the equivalent of pro gay marriage people pushing legislation to force heterosexual married couples to conceive within two years. They don't really believe it, but if they can negatively affect everyone as they are being negatively affected, perhaps people will see the folly in their own logic. I like it."



    Or Chuck Rangel trying to reinstate the draft. Good motives; unfortunately, there are way too many people out there who have bad motives, and share the same desires---quite seriously. MADD also extols the evils of booze, but they would actually like to reinstate prohibition. Bad motives, same campaign tactics.

  • ||

    It's an interesting strategy - I guess the message is that if you must self-medicate, pot is (legality aside) much less likely to cause you problems than booze.

  • ||

    Go to their website and the first thing you'll notice is a graphic blaming alcohol for domestic violence, rape, and murder.

    At the same time, this is not exactly a new idea. Isn't booze involved in a pretty large percentage of such crimes?

  • Baylen||

    Evan,

    No calls for banning booze, but:

    The executive director of SAFER - Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation - said Monday .... the group supports legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to free police resources to combat a more damaging substance: alcohol.



    That's some nefarious shit.

  • ||

    Baylen,

    I missed that. Nefarious indeed.

    Because after all, booze gets no attention from the cops these days. I mean, a DUI gets you nothing but a slap on the wrist.

    Pshaw. The last thing we need is MORE police-state crackdowns on booze.

    Police waste resources all the time, on many things. Speed traps on long-straight superhighways, for example, where it has been scientifically proven that higher speeds don't cause an increase in accidents. This is nothing new. Ferchrissakes, Virginia recently had it's yearly "sit 2 state troopers at every single median crossover between harrisonburg and newport news and give out tickets for going 4 miles over the limit" jamboree. Hell, they even got their speed-checking airplanes in on the fun. Wanna talk about a waste of resources?

  • ||

    Police waste resources all the time, on many things. Speed traps on long-straight superhighways, for example, where it has been scientifically proven that higher speeds don't cause an increase in accidents. This is nothing new. Ferchrissakes, Virginia recently had it's yearly "sit 2 state troopers at every single median crossover between harrisonburg and newport news and give out tickets for going 4 miles over the limit" jamboree. Hell, they even got their speed-checking airplanes in on the fun. Wanna talk about a waste of resources?

    That's not really a waste of resources since it's important that we keep our transportation system flowing smoothly which means people obeying the safety laws. Simply knowing that police might be out there giving tickets will cause most drivers to slow it down. Traffic accidents are costly in many ways so I think money spent to prevent them is generally put to good use.

  • ||

    Insert all the standard libertarian disclaimers here. Got 'em? Good. While SAFER is clearly engaging in some extreme hyperbole, it's still a fact that alcohol contributes to a lot of problems. I know a fair number of cops, and have put this question to several: What percentage of the problems you deal with are alcohol related. The lowest estimate I've ever heard is 70 percent. The most common is somewhere between 90 percent and "Damn near all of them." Of course, this is anecdotal at best, and doesn't say much about what percentage of people who drink cause problems. (That's probably pretty low.) But it is a good indication that alcohol is linked to a lot of problems.
    Personally, I have no problem with an occasional drink. Hell, I love red wine almost as much as TWC. But I tend to think of getting drunk as a pretty low-quality activity.
    Pot OTOH,is tied to a fair number of problems, but those problems tend to generate fewer externalities. And it's more fun.
    It's instructive to think about how you feel after a night of heavy drinking vs. a night of getting high. Hangovers happen because excessive doses of alcohol do nasty things to a person's body. Heavy doses of weed don't, unless you count the five large pizzas the stoner decided to eat while high.

  • ||

    "That's not really a waste of resources since it's important that we keep our transportation system flowing smoothly which means people obeying the safety laws. Simply knowing that police might be out there giving tickets will cause most drivers to slow it down. Traffic accidents are costly in many ways so I think money spent to prevent them is generally put to good use."

    Scientific studies have conclusively proven that A) nearly all speed limits are at least 10 mph lower than the 'design limit' of that particular road, B) raising the speed limit by 10mph results in either no change or a drop in accident rates, and C) speed itself is not the problem; difference in speed is. So 10 people going roughly 80mph on an interstate is much safer than some going 65 and others going 75.

    Penalizing people for not obeying abitrary laws that really do very little good, doesn't "help the transportation system flow smoothly". It lines the pockets of the police at the expense of the citizenry. I shudder to think how much money the State Troopers raked in during their little campaign last week. It is indeed a waste of resources, and a theft cartel. By your logic, we could justify just about any laws being rigidly enforced. Sorry, but sometimes, throwing resources at arbitrary laws is indeed a waste of resources.

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    unless you count the five large pizzas the stoner decided to eat while high.

    Don't joke. This can be a very serious problem. I woke up on my couch Monday morning at 4:30 am, surrounded by pizza boxes,an empty 12 pack of diet coke, half of a loaf of bread, an empty box of pop tarts, and a half-eaten chocolate cheesecake. My stomache was in severe pain for the majority of the day yesterday.

  • ||

    Libertarians, like everyone else, often generalize too much from their own experience. (Yes, I know, the above statement is ironic).

    Since most libertarians (who I know) are responsible drinkers, we tend not to be in that 70-90-damn near all of problems cops deal with. Therefore, we tend to minimize the problem--"I can get quite drunk without causing a scene! Why is there this demonization of alcohol?"

    I still don't think alcohol being a larger problem is sufficient reason to encroach on people's rights, but it's a pattern in my own thought I've noticed a fair amount recently. If you and most people you know use their freedom responsibly, libertarianism looks better and better.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    jb,
    I think you raise a fair point. But I think the best libertarian reply is that there are severe practical limits on how responsible the state can make people who prefer irresponsibility. Smart libertarians are not utopians (not that I was calling you utopian).

  • Guy Montag||

    This is not a cry for eliminating alcohol. It is a cry for elimiating businesses.

  • ||

    Booze is worse than pot, and IT'S legal, so why not weed?

    It doesn't matter which is worse. Booze is legal and pot is not. No one has any right to break the law, the law's the law and it must be enforced. If you don't like it have it changed democraticaly, but you don't have any right to criticize any of the governments laws.

    Pot shouldn't be legal because it is not good for us. The government has a right to ban anything that is not good for us. I don't think children should smoke pot, if it was legal they would. I don't want pilots and surgeons stoned, if it was legal they just might be. I heard of someone killed by a stoned driver, we need it kept illegal.

    Booze causes some problems, we don't need another intoxicant. Weed can lead to hard drugs. Drugs cause negative downstream effects on society, we need them illegal to prevent this. Booze has a long history of safe use in western society, all other intoxicants are dangerous, culturally inappropriate and immoral. Drugs steal the users soul, people drink as an accompaniment to food. Drugs make people feel good which is why they are immoral.

  • ||

    Come on, Steve. If you must troll, at least try to be entertaining.

  • Rhywun||

    And keep it short and simple.

  • ||

    So Steve, if the government decides that guns, or computers, or cars, or private property are not good for us, it should have the absolute power to ban them? i think we have every right to criticize our governments laws - that's what makes this America and not some 3rd world dictatorship.

    I don't want pilots and surgeons to be drunk on the job either, how is that any less likely? You clearly have some deep personal issue with drugs - i do too, i don't think much good comes out of either alcohol or narcotics (i'm straight edge myself), but if they can take away my neighbor's weed, they can take away my naked jell-o wrestling ring. does it matter why i have a naked jell-o wrestling ring? not in America it doesn't... it only matters that i have the right to own one.

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    So, Poncho, where exactly would I procure one of these naked jell-o wrestling rings?

  • Passim||

    As I have stated before, if I were absolute-dictator-for-life-of-the-world and had to ban one and only one drug, I would pick alcohol.

    And I am firmly anti-alcohol prohibition. I can kind of understand their arguing point. But this is the wrong way to go.

    On a side note, one problem the legalize pot crowd has is bad PR. Alcohol is firmly established in our culture, but marijuana is still perceived as the drug of choice for dumbass loser hippies. We laugh at the stupidity of Tommy-Chong-style characters and wonder why so many average people hate pot while sipping their beers.

    Attacking alcohol in this way, IMHO, only makes matters worse.

  • Passim||

    naked jello wrestling?

  • ||

    Are you guys not familiar with Modern Naked Jell-o Wrestler Magazine? This month's issue has an article on the big smear campaign Citizens for Naked Mud Wrestling are launching against us Jello-o aficionados.

  • SPD||

    I enjoy both without any problems because of a little thing called moderation.

    Mommy, Daddy, stop fighting! Can't you see it's tearing me apart?

  • ||

    Scientific studies have conclusively proven that A) nearly all speed limits are at least 10 mph lower than the 'design limit' of that particular road, B) raising the speed limit by 10mph results in either no change or a drop in accident rates, and C) speed itself is not the problem; difference in speed is. So 10 people going roughly 80mph on an interstate is much safer than some going 65 and others going 75.


    Assuming for the sake of argument that these facts have been conclusively proven (quite an assumption), I would think that speed limits help maintain a situation where drivers are going basically at the design limit of the road (since we tend to drive slightly above the speed limit) and there's no doubt that speed limits help keep everybody driving at basically the same speed.

    Penalizing people for not obeying abitrary laws that really do very little good, doesn't "help the transportation system flow smoothly". It lines the pockets of the police at the expense of the citizenry.

    You do realize that when a policeman writes a driver a $100 ticket for speeding he doesn't actually keep the money himself, right? I don't think it goes into some sort of profit-sharing plan for cops, either.


    By your logic, we could justify just about any laws being rigidly enforced. Sorry, but sometimes, throwing resources at arbitrary laws is indeed a waste of resources.


    But speed limits not rigidly enforced. They're barely enforced at all - just enough to keep people from flying around all over the place. I guess it is a poor use of resources if you dismiss out of hand that traffic laws help create an efficient transportation system, but in my opinion that's an absurd notion.

  • ||

    I know a fair number of cops, and have put this question to several: What percentage of the problems you deal with are alcohol related. The lowest estimate I've ever heard is 70 percent. The most common is somewhere between 90 percent and "Damn near all of them."



    Funny. When I knew cops, they would say the same thing about non-alcoholic drugs.

    If I have to trust cops, I'd prefer to trust them on an issue police departments don't hype as a matter of course.

  • Passim||

    Eric the half a bee,

    My brother is a cop in a sleepy little town in coastal GA. If you were to ask him, he would recite the official line about how dangerous illegal drugs are.

    He tells me that alcohol is his biggest worry when he's on night patrol. Stoners & heroin junkies tend to be sedate when high. Chems in his area just make people want to hug him. Coke makes them verbose, but harmless. His greatest fear is the drunken domestic dispute. After his first one, a few years ago, he called me up to tell me that he'd named me as the next legal guardian of his kid because he didn't expect to survive much longer (there are a lot of drunks in his town). He actually insisted I travel down there to meet the kid so we could get to know each other, just in case. BTW, my brother is an ex-Navy SEAL.

    So, there's one pretty badass cop who fears booze, but is pretty much OK with other shit. (Not that he approves) I can't get him to "come out" about it of course, because he'd lose his job. He's not alone.

  • ||

    This debate is best summarized in the Streets' song "The Irony of it All":

    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/streets/the+irony+of+it+all_20132625.html

  • ||

    My cynical sense of human psychology leads me to believe that people who lack proper impulse control have a tendancy to drink to much, thus leading to further loss of impulse control.

    Or, as Ronnie Dobbs so aptly noted, "Can't a man not control his bitch with violence? Y'all are brutalizing me."

  • ||

    Steve, that was a lame attempt at trolling, my man.

  • ||

    Agreed. Steve shouldn't quit his day job. Or he should, and get a job that keeps him off teh internets.

    Also, Modern Drunkard Magazine is a fantastic publication.

  • tros||

    I am a devoted pothead. I will smoke every day of my life if I have the means. But I do not use alcohol to excess, that is to say more than one or two drinks. Although I know alcohol is scientifically proven to shrink the frontal lobe of your brain, I am a strict proponent of Whateverism, also known as Taoism, so I tend to have a beer or two if the situation calls for it.

  • tros||

    Also, Steve is a retard. Grow a brain you retard. Your brain excrement is giving us cancer.

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    And in this corner we have...Steve vs. Tros in THE BATTLE OF THE TROLLS!

  • ||

    Why not make claims that seem over the top? After all what has the drug war and our government been claiming about weed for decades now. According to their propaganda there in theory should be no more drug users because they should all have jumped off buildings thinking they could fly by now. Reefer Madness 101

    Now they have moved up to high tech leeches for their propaganda ads. Ah WoD you have come a long way baby (long fucking way for nothing that is).

    The bottom line is anything in excess is likely not good for you, the exception being sex fo course. Booze is absolutely worse for you no question and where do people go for booze to a bar in a car. Gee that sounds perfectly safe to me compared to John Q smoking a joint in his living room after a day at work, now that is putting us all at risk right.

    As I have stated before about nothing chaging with no knocks raids etc until a politicians family member is involved this very thing just happened in one way. Kennedy and his trip to the capitol at 3am driving into the fence. He says he was sleep driving because of Ambien sleeping pills. So now there is a new push for stronger warnings on Ambien from our friends at the FDA via our friends in Congress. Just that fast they changed things and why because it affected one of their own. If its you or me, they could care less send you to jail and be done with it. Just like when they kick in the wrong door and kill an innocent person.

    My wife took ambien and I have to say after having experimented and seen others experiment with a wide range of drugs this one was the absolute scariest of them all. I shit you not this drug is scary and if you know anyone on it get them off it now!! Makes qualudes and rohypinol look like chicklets it the way it affect people and the speed with which it hits them.

    I crack up at their commericals.. "Do not drive or operate machinery unitl you know how Ambien may affect you." What the fuck is that? ITS A SLEEPING HYPNOTIC why would you take it before a long drive or operating machinery to begin with? Non Narcotic my lilly white ass, I work for pharma and I have dabbled in many compounds and all those considered scourges by the DEA etc are nothing compared to this drug I assure you. Literally my wife was seeing double and was beligerant and refused to believe me when I told her what she did the next day. It would hit her so quick she could take it in the kitchen and by the time she walked back to the bedroom I could tell be her voice she had taken one! Safe my ass. If thats safe so if juggling fucking chainsaws.

  • highnumber||

    How will I know when it's my turn to be Juan/Juanita/Steve?
    Will I get an email with a simple message like this?

    To: highnumber
    From: The Man

    Subject: It's time

    Troll it.

  • retyred||

    tros smokes dope everyday? whodathunkit?

  • Adam||

    I completely disagree with the poster for this article. The point SAFER is making is that Alcohol is more dangerous than Marijuana, therefore both should be categorized the same. We shouldn't categorize people who smoke Marijuana as "criminals".

    I don't think anyone was trying to eliminate or ban alcohol. Just provide an alternative for those who would prefer not to drink (me).


    And also, the messages and billboards that were put up were not harsh or wrong.

    Do you not recall 70+ years of lies and propaganda regarding Marijuana. We've been lied to for so long that we don't even know what is true anymore.

    ** Marijuana use supports terrorism
    ** Marijuana use leads to heroin addiction
    ** Marijuana causes violence


    There are so many. It's about time someone stand up to these prohibitionist lawmakers and give them a dose of their own propaganda bullshit.

    GO SAFER!

  • Frank Kelly Rich is a TOOL!||

    http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/md_editors_rant.htm


    Frank Kelly Rich is obviously some out-raged drunk who is completely blind to the fact that alcohol KILLS MANY MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE than it could ever help.

    I have had numerous SOBER friends who were struck and killed by drunk drivers. These people had absolutely no alcohol in their systems but the fuckers who hit them were wasted. You must be a fucking moron to honestly believe that alcohol saves more people than it hurts.

    Tell you what Genius. Go fucking get you a big bottle of Jack, pound the whole fucking thing and then go and do everyone a favor and drive off a cliff. You won't be missed.

  • ||

    Wow you must have been super since November when all those campaigns were actually running....just catching them now huh

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, Ambien is strong stuff but no way is it scarier than other common drugs like LSD. Or heroin? (So I've heard.)

  • ||

    Steve | April 3, 2007, 11:26am
    "The government has a right to ban anything that is not good for us. "

    In that case I must argue that poverty is bad for us. The government should sterilize all poor people before they can reproduce. This will end poverty in just one generation.

    perchance, an amen?

  • Adam||

    Being fat is bad for everyone as well.

    I think we should ridicule every fat person we see. Point and laugh and then we can call them criminals because being fat kills people as well as jacks up the cost of medical care for everyone.

  • Bee||

    I think you could make a case for testosterone being way, way more dangerous than either alcohol or weed.

  • dhex, masochistic liberal||

    "I'm a longtime supporter of marijuana legalization, and I usually vote that way. But not this time. On Nov. 5 I voted against SAFER-sponsored Referendum 44, which would have legalized marijuana possession in Colorado. When it lost by 20 points I raised a drink in celebration. Not because pot lost. Because SAFER lost."

    what a fuckface!

  • highnumber||

    I'm sorry it took me so long to think of it, but you know what these substances do to your brain...
    I just happened to listen to this song last night.
    The Streets, yeah, he's all right.

  • ||

    Ambien is scarier in the context of someone not use to illegal drugs effects taking it. For the regular person compared to the heroin injector it is very powerful. If you shoot a rig of heroin I am guessing your expecting to be fucked up before hand. If you take an Ambien the commercials make it look like sweet dreams with blow jobs but in reality you may burn your house down because you never knew it was going to fuck you up like it does and by then its to late. My wife was straight up hallucinating and non coherent more so than any LSD trip I have seen.

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