Should a glass of wine be considered proof of alcoholism? If a child sees a parent sip some booze, should state personnel remove the youngster from the home? These suggestions and more are part of an open letter to Governor John Hickenlooper (see it below) written by Bill Althouse, a cannabis activist who's started an organization called Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana -- a reversal on the Amendment 64 pitch to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Althouse admits that he's not really calling for such measures -- but he's making a serious point.
Althouse is no fan of recommendations made by the Hickenlooper-appointed Amendment 64 task force. In his view, the group's members were motivated by what he calls the "Oh, we've got to save the children!" philosophy voiced by "all those parents who can't protect their kids and want the state to do it." But he thinks such folks have chosen the wrong target.
"If they're really serious about protecting kids, they've got to get alcohol away from them," he maintains. "That's the real killer. So if they're willing to get into people's lives, they should address the real dangers, not the perceived dangers."
A lifetime of experience led Althouse to these conclusions. He says he has "the alcoholic gene...it killed my father, it killed my grandfather," and it might have done the same to him if he hadn't quit consuming intoxicating spirits 37 years ago, in part by using marijuana to kick the habit.
In more recent years, while living in New Mexico, Althouse has focused on the biotechnology end of the marijuana industry. He says he was one of the country's "first producers of cannabidiol," the cannabis compound that has many medical applications but doesn't contain active THC. In his words, "I think the no-high potential of this plant is even more spectacular than the get-high potential."
His efforts got the attention of Albuquerque Journal, which profiled him in April 2012 -- and he saw Colorado as just the place for him to take his research and enterprise to the next level. But after relocating to the state, he says his dream of starting a cannabis cooperative ran afoul of regulations that appear to be coming down the pike.
"When I look at the recommendations, I see a vertically integrated monopoly controlled by a small group of people with huge piles of cash," he allows. "And if the reason for these draconian laws is fear for our children, let's look at that. If 75 percent of domestic abuse and violence is alcohol-related, then let's get draconian on what's really causing all those problems."
With that in mind, he suggests applying the restrictions either in place or suggested for marijuana to alcohol. No consumption of liquor in public, for example -- and no advertising anywhere other than adult publications.
"If it's about a threat to our kids, let's deal with the greatest threat," he argues. "Because if we're not going to deal with the greatest threat, it's obviously not about our kids."
Continue to read Bill Althouse's open letter to Governor John Hickenlooper about regulating alcohol like marijuana.
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
Your Amendment 64 task force has shown great courage in protecting our youth from harmful substances and bad parental role modeling. This willingness to protect citizens from themselves is a great opportunity to add safeguards from the most dangerous drug of all, alcohol. Alcohol is the leading cause of all violent crimes in Colorado. Alcohol is the major factor in 75% of domestic violence, in 50% of all traffic fatalities, 60% of rapes, 57% of murders, and 60% of assaults. 70% of all teens have had alcohol, and alcohol is the major factor in over 50% of all teen fatalities from suicide, murder, traffic and drowning. When public safety is the issue, controlling alcohol is the answer. Constitutionally, marijuana must be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol. Instead of giving marijuana producers and users the equal rights of current alcohol users, we should regulate alcohol like we intend to regulate marijuana and save our children from the most dangerous drug of all, alcohol.
The Campaign to Regulate Alcohol like Marijuana recommends that rules and regulations be implemented into the Colorado liquor laws so that alcohol users and producers are treated the same as marijuana users and producers. These new rules and regulations would create the following conditions.
1. A glass of wine with dinner or a Beer after work on hot day is proof of alcoholism
2. Consuming one drink of alcohol on the weekend is grounds to be fired by any employer
3. If a child sees a parent consume alcohol, Protective Services may remove the child from the home
4. If a parent has one drink, it will cause loss of custody of children in a divorce case
5. No alcohol may be served by the drink anywhere in Colorado
6. All publicly viewable consumption at sporting events, backyards , political rallies, fraternal organizations, breweries, vineyards, farmers markets, and picnics, even if the alcohol is free, is a crime
7. Alcohol consumption outside a private home is a crime
8. No alcohol consumption may be viewed by a child, including private homes if a passing child could see through a window or door
9. No alcohol advertising is allowed except for adult only publications
10. All alcohol production and sales must be a monopoly selected by the State
11. All craft beer is illegal, only large brewers may be licensed as retailers
12. All alcohol sales are package sales only, must be in child proof containers and placed in plain dark paper exit packaging stapled shut before leaving the store
13. Non Colorado citizens will be limited to one bottle of beer per purchase
14. Colorado citizens will be limited to a six pack per purchase
15. Home brewers must grow their hops under artificial lights in a separate locked space and brewing must also occur in that locked space. Using sunshine is a crime
16. All hops for brewers must be grown under artificial lighting on commercially zoned property
17. Crops intended to produce alcohol must not be grown on agriculturally zoned land
18. All brewers must grow all their own hops, and brew all their own beer
19. Each brewer is limited to a single retail package outlet
20. Alcohol retailers must only sell alcohol and nothing else
21. There are strict limits on the number of licenses that can be owned by one individual or group, the size of licensed premises, and the size of the brewery
22. Outside investment in beer production or hops growing is illegal
23. The State must discourage the consumption of Colorado alcohol products
24. Everyone one must work for the alcohol monopoly. Free enterprise is a crime
25. All transactions must be in cash and no retailer can use credit or banking services
26. All brewer waste, grains, spillage must be not be placed in the trash or given to anyone one including animal feeding. All waste must be safely disposed of according to DOR regulations
27. All alcohol is for intoxication only, any other medical or laboratory use by hospital, university, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuel, or industrial entities is a crime
The Campaign to Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana is dedicated to educating decision makers and parents about the dangers of alcohol. If you need any additional information please contact us.
Thanks again for your concern for the public safety,
Bill Althouse Executive Director The Campaign to Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Save Our Society from Drugs attacks Amendment 64 task force recommendations."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.