Donald Trump’s choice for his mouthpiece as White House press secretary and communications director was the hot-headed Sean Spicer, who ruffled just a few feathers last week when he said Americans will see “greater enforcement” of federal law on recreational marijuana.
Spicer’s choice for marriage in 2004 was the booze-lauding Rebecca Spicer. Rebecca Spicer has been the senior vice president of communications & public affairs for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) since 2007. The NBWA “represents the interests of America’s 3,300 licensed, independent beer distributors.”
Rebecca Spicer’s job for the NBWA is to “manage the communications strategy for the trade association…and executes key public relations strategies related to the association’s advocacy priorities.” In other words, its Rebecca Spicer’s job to make beer distributing companies look good–and to protect their best interests.
In some cases, that’s simply philanthropy:
— Rebecca Spicer (@RebeccaMSpicer) November 9, 2015
However, what if that position means Rebecca Spicer slides behind closed doors in the White House or her bedroom and whispers sweet nothings into her husband’s ear about the “danger of weed”? Perhaps that a stretch, but with this administration and last week’s news on a potential legal weed crackdown coming from Sean Spicer’s mouth, is it wrong to point out a clearcut conflict of interest?
When you consider a three-month-old report that clearly outlines how legal marijuana leads to a decline in alcohol sales, the conflict of interest begins to spike. Consider these numbers:
“Legal recreational cannabis states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington are under-performing the overall U.S. beer market by 2.6 percentage points year-to-date.”
Translation: Where weed is legal, beer sales decline. Think that makes beer distributors in America happy? Probably not. Especially when it happens to this degree:
“Sales volume of ‘below-premium’ beers (think Busch and Natty Light) is down 2.4 percent year-to-date in the three highlighted pot states; ‘premium domestic’ beers (your Bud Lights and Coors Lights) are down 4.4 percent year-to-date. Craft beer sales in Colorado, Oregon and Washington are flat, but under-performing the total U.S. craft sales by 9.5 percentage points, according to the report.”
This isn’t some minor dip either: both low-level and craft beers’ sales clearly worsen where weed is legal. Is it a coincidence–or is it enough smoke to lead to some serious fire? Well, Sean Spicer didn’t mention it.
Moreover, here are direct quotes from Sean Spicer’s press briefing last week that beg the question—What the hell is going on?
“Well, I think that’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Because again, there’s a big difference between the medical use”
Greater enforcement is a vague term. Whether this is fear-mongering or fact is unclear. What is clear is that the White House isn’t opening its windows and screaming with joy about weed. While this administration will respect states’ same-sex bathroom laws, they’ve made it clear when it comes to cannabis, respecting states’ rights is no sure thing.
“There is a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of the medical—when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature,” Spicer said.
Spicer actually tried to draw a link between marijuana use and opioid addiction—when in reality, states with medical marijuana see a sharp decrease in opioid abuse/overdoses. Meanwhile, we were left with this cliffhanger:
“I believe that they [the DOJ] are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana,” Spicer concluded.
That could mean anything. But given that Attorney General Jeff Sessions almost simultaneously revoked a bill that would halt private prisons (meaning more prisoners and money for these prisons), that probably means more minorities arrested for weed and more jails filled with those minorities.
The connections between marijuana enforcement and a corrupt government become harder and harder to miss.
Whether it’s the liquor industry or the pill industry coming to slash our throats through their lobbyists and coffers, something appears amiss when it comes to this administrations early marijuana policy.
And it’s spicy.