Beer distributors fight legalizing marijuana

In view of half of the U.S. population in favor of legalizing marijuana and several state initiatives to legalize cannabis, a group of beer distributors have contributed $25,000 to fight adult-use marijuana legalization. The Beer Distributors PAC, an affiliate that represents 16 beer-distribution companies in Massachusetts, contributed the money to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. Voters in at least nine states including Massachusetts will decide on this November’s ballot on recreational or medical use of marijuana.


Five U.S. states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Washington D.C.) already have totally legalized the use of marijuana and five more are considering such a move (Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada). On top many more have allowed access to cannabis for people with qualifying medical conditions. California was the first state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996.


Major alcohol producing companies fear the effect of legalizing marijuana because they believe in a substitution of alcohol drinking by marijuana smoking. The Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams beer, informed investors that the “sale and distribution of marijuana” could “adversely impact the demand” for beer. Even researchers like Daniel Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado, Denver, found out that many consumers will most likely substitute marijuana for alcohol when given the chance. But physical evidence in the state of Colorado, where the use of marijuana was legalized in 2012, showed that consumption of alcohol has been stable since then.

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