Wine: More Dangerous than Cocaine, LSD and Mushrooms and Pot
According to a new Pew survey reported on by the Washington Post, Americans believe that only crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines are more harmful than alcohol (including wine).
My question used to be, will the social acceptance and legalization of marijuana impact wine sales. Now my question is to what extent will there be a rising backlash against alcohol that impacts wine sales?
Just to be clear, the Pew survey showed that Americans now believe the following substances are LESS harmful to use than alcohol: cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, LSD, tobacco, and mushrooms.
Whether or not alcohol is, as the public seems to believe, more dangerous to use than anything other than crack, heroin or methamphetamines, what I think the wine industry really needs to think about in light of the public perception of alcohol is how wine can be positioned as a beverage of moderation, a healthful beverage and the beverage that isn’t necessarily used to simply get high. While wineries are prohibited from making any health claims concerning alcohol, non-wineries, journalists and associations are not prohibited from doing so. Based on this survey, these people might want to think about getting on board with a messaging campaign the shores up wine’s perception as better than to use than crack.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I think it is very important to keep in mind that when compared to the commonly used drugs and particularly in comparison to non-medicinal marijuana use, wine can be consumed without any intent to get high. One can have a glass or two of wine with nearly no expectation of altering their perception. The same cannot be said about Marijuana and certainly can’t be said about cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms or amphetamines. This is the fundamental difference between wine and marijuana.
I’d very much like to see some research that asks Americans, “Which is more harmful to use…Wine, Marijuana, Cocaine, Meth”. I’d want to know the perception of the harmfulness of usage of wine vs. marijuana. This information would be an important guide in any effort by the wine industry to shore up the reputation of wine versus other substances.
As you can see from the chart here that breaks down how various demographic groups responded to the question of which is more harmful (Pot v. Alcohol), it doesn’t matter how you slice it up. People believe alcohol is more harmful than pot. This is not good news for wine.