“They Sell Bud. We Sell Weed”: Travails On Pot Prohibition’s Silly Side (Unless You’re Getting Screwed By It, Then It Ain’t So Funny Or Cheap)
One of the only things that makes me madder than seeing the day in, day out waste of public resources and abuse of citizens’ rights associated with pot prohibition are some of the absurd stepchildren born of the government’s zeal in trying to enforce cannabis prohibition laws, quash popular culture and stymie entrepreneurialism.
Case in hand, a federal bureaucracy, the US Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is harassing a family-owned microbrewery in Northern California for some creative marketing, while looking the other way regarding the advertising practices of a huge, politically powerful beer company.
Treasury technocrats are taking umbrage with the Mt. Shasta Brewing Company’s use of bottle caps imprinted with ‘Try Legal Weed’, claiming that beer (AKA a drug) can’t have a drug reference, even when the reference is the name of the brewery’s hometown and last name of the city’s (Weed, California) 1880s wood baron founder (Abner Weed).
Mt. Shasta Brewing Company’s already sold 400,000 brews with names like Shastafarian Porter and Mountain High IPA (an additional catchy slogan on these notable craft beers: ‘A Friend in Weed is a Friend Indeed’), and had started printing up an additional 400,000 bottle caps in February when the feds put the kibosh on these funny and effective marketing double entendre.
Vaune Dillmann, Mt. Shasta Brewing Company’s 61-year-old owner and a former cop, irked by the government’s heavy handedness and lack of a sense of humor, is vexed by the obvious double standard that the feds don’t harass Budweiser for their now ubiquitous slogan ‘This Bud’s for you’.
Dillmann tells the LA Times’ Eric Bailey, “They Sell Bud. We Sell Weed”.
The ‘Weed’ beer debacle reminds me of a another recent and equally absurd government effort to ‘protect’ citizens from marketing imagery prohibitionists and well intending public health officials don’t like… May 30, 2008