All posts by Scott

Distilled Spirits Council of America (DISCUS)

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Very few people are aware of this organization. It’s a very powerful lobby working to inject the culture with the virtues of safe and responsible drinking. Is there anything wrong with the message? Not really. The vast majority of people who drink alcohol do so safely, at least in terms of the here and now and not driving impaired or starting fights. It seems that one of the main goals of the distilled spirits council is to keep alcohol taxes low and maintain the monopoly on legal intoxication that alcohol has enjoyed for generations. Some sates, like Wyoming haven’t raised taxes in more than 50 years, not even to adjust for inflation. Wyomings last tax raise on alcohol was in 1935. Yes, THAT 1935. Scholarly research shows that a raise in taxes reduces rates of use and so does perpetuating “drugs are bad!” culture, even though science and common sense show us marijuana is safer than alcohol. Today the distilled spirits Facebook page featured a picture of George Washington, quoting him “The benefits of moderate amounts of liquor are not to be disputed”. Of course that was 300 years ago and he also thought slavery was ok. In the modern world many people dispute this claim. Among the naysayers are the scientists who authored the world cancer report. There 2014 report claims no safe level of drinking, that alcohol is carcinogenic. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/824237

At rebound Brooklyn we see people impaired by alcohol daily. Alcohol stealthily moves among as a deadly substance while our attention is diverted to the perils of marijuana and a drug free America fantasy. The truth is, some people can tolerate intoxication and some can’t. Evangelical attempts to impose total abstinence never work, but neither does the manipulation and coercion of the Distilled Spirits Council.

Joe Schrank

Scott Bienenfeld, MD