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Publisher’s Page New York: March 2014

Posted on  | February 20, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Legalized Marijuana? Don’t Forget Facts & Logic

One of the more offensive arguments used to support legalizing marijuana is an old one, targeting the “evils of alcohol.”

For years our industry has been waging a successful fight to reduce traffic fatalities related to alcohol. However, according to researchers at the Columbia University School of Public Health, fatal crashes involving marijuana use tripled during the previous decade. Also according to the research, “If this trend continues, in five or six years, drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”

So, why do people insist on saying alcohol is a greater problem?

Another pro-pot argument is based on generating tax revenue, like the liquor industry does. Details were presented by DISCUS at the recent Retailers Alliance meeting. But, a response from the audience shone real light on this line of reasoning: “Anyone who thinks they are going to generate tax revenues, the way alcohol does, is clearly mistaken. If you want to produce alcohol, you have to build a distillery. This stuff, anyone can grow in their back yard.”

Leave it to a street smart retailer to quickly nail that one.

William G. Slone, Chairman


With kids growing up these days,
faster than ever, the issue of underage age drinking remains an important concern—especially as we continue to hear disturbing reports about social media-driven binge drinking. Some encouraging news here from Century Council: According to the independent and continuing Monitoring The Future study, drinking has declined some 50% among teens over the past two decades.

We are clearly headed in the right direction. But any incident of an underage drinking spree and its tragic results will never be acceptable. Kudos to The Century Council for reaching out to teens in new and creative ways.

The latest campaign from Century Council goes beyond having adults warn kids about the dangers and asks them to listen to a contemporary—Bella Thorne, a 16-year-old celebrity. The program is called iDecide, and she celebrates the courage it takes to make and abide by individual decisions. In one of these ads, she gets an assist from Shaquille O’Neal.

Go to youtube and search Shaq, Bella and iDecide. Well done.

Jason A. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer

Spring Whiskey Awakening

Last March, we chronicled the success of the Irish whiskey category. This year, I am happy to report the surge continues, as the category experiences growth with new brands, expansions and great consumer enthusiasm. Read more in “Whiskey’s Brightest Spot.” There’s also a great look at bartenders taking kitchen innovations behind the bar in “Final Flavor Frontier.” And while we dig out from an especially hard winter, it’s a great time to consider “Cider on the Fast Track,” which truly works in all weather, actually.

Check out this month’s brand profiles too, highlighting Svedka Vodka and the latest from Tequila Avión: Reserva 44. As the weather warms, it’s a signal to remember to check our events calendar on page 73 and online for all the spring tastings and other industry events you don’t want to miss.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik, Chief Operating Officer


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