Very often, marijuana advocates will note the many ways cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol to justify legalization. Well it turns out marijuana businesses want to compare themselves to alcohol as well.
Cannabis businesses are declaring war on the alcohol industry. They are noting the many ways that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, and in fact is much better for you. A recent billboard that went up in San Francisco says, "Hello Marijuana, Goodbye Hangover." Another in Arizona says, "“Marijuana: Less Toxic! Less Addictive! Less Scary Than Alcohol!”
And the alcohol industry is somewhat afraid. Many have noted that alcohol sales decline when marijuana is more available. And it's not just beer companies getting hurt either. Restaurants and bars are losing business to dispensaries, and also workers are choosing higher paying jobs in the cannabis industry.
Studies show that 80 percent of marijuana consumers reduce their consumption of alcohol when the drug becomes available. Another study shows that counties with medical marijuana available saw a 13 percent decrease in alcohol sales.
Some question whether this strategy is effective. While noting the dangers of alcohol to support legalization is one thing, creating a war in which consumers choose between alcohol and cannabis may not be necessary.
“The marijuana industry is fostering this notion that it’s a zero-sum game,” Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas Brewing Company, told The New York Post. “There’s a horse race that’s being created here.”
But ultimately, the alcohol industry will be fine. Restaurants will be fine overcharging for cocktails and people will always buy Bud Light. They can afford a couple of competitive billboards.