Changes to State Alcohol Policies Available Online

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) has updated its list of state alcohol policies to reflect substantive changes that occurred last year. The list is available online.

APIS, a project by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, covers topics including taxation, underage drinking, retail sales, alcohol control systems, pregnancy and alcohol, blood alcohol concentration limits, transportation, and health care services and financing.

Many of the state policy changes are consistent with the goal of reducing underage drinking and its consequences, as well as the goal of reducing alcohol-related death and injury in the general population, according to APIS.

Changes to state alcohol policies include an increase in Connecticut’s excise taxes for beer, wine and distilled spirits; Mississippi’s prohibition against hosting underage drinking parties; Montana’s mandatory beverage service training; and Arkansas’ adoption of mandatory reporting requirements regarding alcohol and pregnancy for health care and social workers.

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    Dan R. Gray, ICRAADC, MARS

    November 16, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    As a strictly science and clinical evidence based addictions professional for over a quarter century, I do not see that Colorado or Washington should have any worry about the legal social use of marijuana and any increase in traffic accidents to be related. Also, as a professional addictions futurist, I hope that they will keep track of any and all traffic accidents that have been caused by the social use of marijuana. This data should be compared with any increase or decrease in accidents caused by being under the influence of social use of alcohol. This information should be made public and will be especially of interest to MADD. They should be informed directly to the national headquarters and made public. This public release of information of cause and effect as related to social use of alcohol as compared to social use of marijuana involving traffic accidents that can be as a direct use of one or the other. Scientific evidence regarding the effects of marijuana use only and ability to drive an automobile can be compared to the effects of use of alcohol only and the ability to drive an automobile. Collected data will show a marked reduction in the alcohol related accidents in both states in that many individuals using alcohol would prefer the use of marijuana. The estimated reduction in alcohol related accidents as a result of the switch to marijuana, as I see it, will approximate 40% or greater. MADD should be happy with those statistics. Any action on the part of the beer, wine, and spirits industry to influence the laws of taxation and or any other regulation that would affect marijuana sales and use should be suspect. Taxation on either should be based upon the added cost to society as a whole and not on mere speculation. The savings in cost to the state will be significantly supported by increased number of jobs created and tax revenue derived from legalization of marijuana, a genetically
    non-addictive mood altering chemical. The removal of marijuana as a profitable school-ground product will be eliminated and relegated to less of a problem than alcohol is now for our youth.

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