Is the alcohol industry is spending money to get members of Congress to pay attention to the problem of “marijuana-impaired driving”? That’s the case being made on cannabis industry website Marijuana.com, where a blogger seems to have assiduously searched the famous WikiLeaks dump of DNC e-mails for any reference to our favorite herb.
What the blogger found was in the May 24, 2016 edition of Huddle, a daily e-newsletter for Capitol Hill insiders produced by the Politico website. That issue included a paid advertisement from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), which reads in part:While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana… In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana… Congress should fully fund Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 Appropriations process to document the prevalence of marijuana impaired driving, outline impairment standards and determine driving impairment detection methods.Apart from appearing on the WikiLeaks website, that particular issue of Huddle—with the WSWA statement—appears on InboxCart, a website that archives e-newsletters. Interestingly, the WSWA statement does not appear with the text of that issue in the Huddle archive on Politico. It seems to have only appeared in the e-mailed version. Also only in the e-mailed version is the following text before the main subject line: “POLITICO Huddle, presented by Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.”In other words, the WSWA advertisement and sponsorship credit seem to have only appeared in the version sent directly to the in-boxes of Congress members and Beltway insiders.