Alcohol Industry Benefits From Marijuana Remaining Illegal

I have spent my life in and around alcoholism. A recovering alcoholic myself, I worked at Promises in Malibu before founding Loft 107, the first sober living facility in New York City. I’m the cofounder of, a web site about addiction and treatment.

I’m also an interventionist, the guy who gets called in when a family is at their wit’s end. While I deal with clients in recovery every day at Loft 107, my work takes me everywhere, from schools to court and even into prisons. It was in the last of these where I found myself last week.

The scene: visiting day at Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, NY. As I sat with a client, I watched a family playing Uno. Everyone was there — two boys, aged 8 and 10, their mother, and their grandparents. As visiting hours wound down, the boys had tears streaming down their faces at once again having to leave their father, who is in prison serving a marijuana distribution charge.

Were marijuana legal, this man might have been called an entrepreneur instead of a criminal. But it’s not, and he’s not. Is it his fault that he is where he is? Of course it is. But all the devils are here, including the alcohol lobby. Money from big booze is protecting a monopoly, and society is paying the price. The solution: It’s time to legalize weed. Why? Because not only could legalized marijuana provide a tax revenue stream for funding treatment and recovery programs, it could also eliminate the high cost of incarceration and the emotional toll it takes on families.

– Read the entire article in The Huffington Post.



  1. Bhonze on

    This is a good piece; So sad for the family. I see so many good homes ruind from Prohibition of Marijuana. This seems like a good family destoyed by our Government. These kids need both there parents. Prohibition has destroyed many Black families and now even more white families are falling victem to the Drug War!

  2. mexweed on

    I agree with Joe except one point: the $igarette addiction colossus has more to lose, and I would guess puts more money in play to keep cannabis illegal, than alcohol. WHO May 30, 2011 estimate: “tobacco” (of which 94% is cigarette smoking) kills 6 million a year worldwide, alcohol kills 2.5 million. Connection: binge drinking is a key factor in recruiting young persons into nicotine addiction. How many frat parties will convert away from forced heroic drinking once the cannabis toke alternative is legal?

  3. animan425 on

    I’m glad to see someone who agrees with me on this subject. I once suggested that the alcohol industry lobbied against cannabis (aka marijuana) legalization in a forum about drugs and got only one reply, from someone who disagreed with me, and no takers. I’m glad to see that more people are finally waking up to the truth about this reality.

  4. Anonymous UK on

    If alcohol and marijuana switched places and reputations in the public perception many problems would be fixed. I fully sympathise with those suffering with the direct or indirect consequences of alcohol as I have lost a family member to this drug. More correctly it was society’s attitudes (ie that alcohol is safe, harmless and acceptable) that stopped him from confronting his addiction and consequently killed him.