What about the children? Let's treat alcohol like cannabis
Isn't that what we already voted for?
In 2016, the people of Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana. The cries rang out... “What about the children?!” The Commonwealth answered their cries, ultimately setting a 5mg per serving limit for cannabis products in regulations. Oh, and 94G, the statute, sets the limit at 10mg. Why it got lowered in the regulations to 5mg is no mystery. For the sake of the children, it has to be done!
With this in mind, I’m filing a bill called the Act to Mitigate Ethanol Abuse. Ethanol, the active ingredient in an alcoholic drink, is not only toxic but causes tens of thousands of deaths a year.
People die because of drunk drivers all day, every day, in every state. People drink too much and die of alcohol poisoning. Some become so addicted to ethanol that they become physically dependent. Ethanol withdrawals, unlike any other deadly drug, can actually kill you. Go ahead and Google it. I’ll wait.
What about the children?! How can we protect them against this evil, toxic ethanol? The predatory ethanol industry often targets minors in its marketing. There are all kinds of drinks made like candy, with fun-sounding names and colors and sweet fruity flavors that are appealing to children. By the time you finish reading this sentence, children across the country are being checked into their local emergency room because they ingested too much ethanol. How many times have you heard stories of some college kid over-doing it at a frat party and ending up in the ER with ethanol poisoning? It happens all the time.
The answer is the Act to Mitigate Ethanol Abuse. This bill limits the potency of ethanol products to increase safety and help to deter addiction. It bans the production of any non-liquid ethanol product such as jello shots or freeze-pops. It prohibits the use of altering the product with any sort of flavor or color enhancement, whether it be natural or artificial. Liquors would be limited to 40 proof. If that is not enough for you, just drink more! Beer, malt liquor, cider, and other ethanol products made via fermentation would also be limited in their total alcohol by volume. Wines, for instance, could be as high as 6%. Beer and malt liquors can enjoy a whopping 3.2%, which is what they already serve in sports stadiums, and would be an easy transition.
I seriously doubt the bill will go anywhere, but it will make a point and will be filed alongside another bill that would raise the statutory serving limit for cannabis to 20mg.
You might ask yourself what good that does if the regulatory limit is set to 5mg. I’m glad you asked. There’s this nifty little mention in 94G that says the Cannabis Control Commission cannot make a regulation that is unreasonable or impractical. It just must be one, the other, or both, to qualify for this section. Setting the limit in regulation lower than the legal limit is not necessarily impractical but is unreasonable. If the statute is set to 20mg, then it can easily be argued that the limit set by regulation is unreasonable, as it only allows for 25% of the legal limit.
They told us they wanted to treat cannabis like ethanol. This bill highlights how unreasonable the current limits are for cannabis edibles in the retail market. It shows that they do not treat it like alcohol at all. If we are to truly treat both items equally, let’s treat them equally.