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"Legal Weed" Beer Supposedly "Mislead[ing]"?

The AP reports,

Federal alcohol regulators ... have ordered [Vaune] Dillmann [a brewer in the town of Weed, California] to stop selling beer bottles with caps that say "Try Legal Weed." The agency, which regulates the brewing industry, said the wording could "mislead consumers about the characteristics of the alcoholic beverage." ...

What next, going after Fat Weasel Ale on the grounds that the beer actually doesn't contain any fat weasels? Is an appreciable number of customers really likely to assume that "Legal Weed" actually legally includes marijuana, which I take it is the supposed likely confusion?

Thanks to Kate Fulton for the pointer.

kenB (mail):
Praline: Next we have number four, 'Crunchy Frog'.

Milton: Ah, yes.

Praline: Am I right in thinking there's a real frog in here?

Milton: Yes. A little one.
4.28.2008 10:47am
BT:
Yep the War On Drugs!! Our Federal Government at it best.
4.28.2008 11:17am
Just Dropping By (mail):
What next, going after Fat Weasel Ale on the grounds that the beer actually doesn't contain any fat weasels?

Actually, if you look closely at the label, you'll notice that it contains extract of Mustela grossus....
4.28.2008 11:28am
Dave N (mail):
What next, going after Fat Weasel Ale on the grounds that the beer actually doesn't contain any fat weasels?
I don't know about fat weasel, but I have tried Fat Tire and I DO wonder about its rubber content.
4.28.2008 11:45am
The Ace:
This totally changes the reasons I prefer to drink Arrogant Bastard Ale.
4.28.2008 11:46am
pjohnson (mail):

What next, going after Fat Weasel Ale on the grounds that the beer actually doesn't contain any fat weasels?


Just wait till they take a close look at Old Granddad...
4.28.2008 11:53am
Tony Tutins (mail):
Darn. I was going to move to Hell, Michigan and brew "The Beer from Hell."
4.28.2008 11:56am
UW2L:
Cute little town with a giant 'WEED' sign over the town square. I'll have to stop in next time I'm doing the I-5 haul. I hope I can pick up some "classic" beer bottles while I'm there!
4.28.2008 11:57am
Dominowski (mail) (www):
I hate to say it, but quite a few people would be under the impression that a beer called 'Legal Weed' would contain something in addition to the alcohol, even if not marijuana. They believe all sorts of silly things, despite my efforts though.

Unfortunately, I suspect there are a lot more of these people around than people who don't know them would like to think.
4.28.2008 12:03pm
darelf:
"Is an appreciable number of customers really...."

Ouch. My head hurts now...
4.28.2008 12:23pm
Crackmonkeyjr (www):
Assuming for a moment people are idiots and think that "Legal Weed" beer contains marijuana, you would think that the government would appreciate that these people would be tricked into not using an illegal substance.
4.28.2008 12:24pm
whit:
anytime anything says "legal X", and X is in fact illegal, it goes without saying that it DOESN'T contain X.

ditto for "herbal" , such as "herbal ecstacy".

the advertisement would actually be misleading if it CONTAINED weed, right? because then it WOULDN'T be legal.

so, how can it be misleading if it DOESN'T contain weed?

it's a true binary. it either contains weed, or it doesn't. govt. can't have it both ways. oh, but this is the WAR ON DRUGS, therefore logic is (as usual) out the window
4.28.2008 12:32pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Lots of people drink Legal Weed, but purely for medicinal purposes.
4.28.2008 12:37pm
Hoosier:
Watch out 'Grape Nuts'!

We're comming for you NEXT!
4.28.2008 12:41pm
Hoosier:
"coming"
4.28.2008 12:42pm
Wayne Jarvis:

anytime anything says "legal X", and X is in fact illegal, it goes without saying that it DOESN'T contain X.

ditto for "herbal" , such as "herbal ecstacy".

the advertisement would actually be misleading if it CONTAINED weed, right? because then it WOULDN'T be legal.

so, how can it be misleading if it DOESN'T contain weed?


Because by associating your product with "X" you are relaying the message that your product has the same attributes as X.

If I called by product "herbal prilosec" don't you kinda think that an average consumer might---just maybe---think that the product will help them with acid reflux?
4.28.2008 12:53pm
whit:
"Because by associating your product with "X" you are relaying the message that your product has the same attributes as X. "

correct.

"If I called by product "herbal prilosec" don't you kinda think that an average consumer might---just maybe---think that the product will help them with acid reflux?"

except that is covered by a DIFFERENT law.

you can't claim that any food supplement (or food) can cure disease. you also can't say it's "herbal" or "legal" ANY prescription drug.

since the federal govt. (these regulators were federal) don't recognize marijuana AS a prescription drug, your statements are 100% irrelevant.

i've been studying the whole supplement thing for a LONG time, and probably know DSHEA better than any law on the federal books.

as long as the product doesn't violate FDA regs about various claims (it doesn't as far as i can see), or claim to cure disease, etc. those reg's don't apply.
4.28.2008 12:59pm
whit:
replace "prescription drug" in above with 'drug'.

the FDA has specifically distinguished between DRUGS and SUPPLEMENTS. see: DSHEA.

even OTC drugs fall under very different regulations than supplements.
4.28.2008 1:01pm
Vinnie (mail):
Put one dandelion flower in each batch and tell the government to get bent.
Problem solved.
4.28.2008 1:08pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Building on Vinnie's idea: the hops used in beer do grow wild in many places, and the hop is part of the family Cannabaceae, which also includes the genus cannabis (also known as hemp). Thus the beer in question arguably does include legal weed.
4.28.2008 1:37pm
Crunchy Frog:
kenB: Hey, I represent that remark!
4.28.2008 1:41pm
Kazinski:
Seeing how hops and marijuana are close relitives and are the only two genara in in the Cannabaceae family of plant I can't see how the slogan can be misleading.
4.28.2008 2:01pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Want a misleading name? Try Milwaukee's Best.

Nick
4.28.2008 2:25pm
mojo (mail):
Legal Weed - It's In The Hops!
4.28.2008 2:50pm
nicestrategy (mail):
In far Northern California marijuana is pervasive and celebrated and homebrew with weed is not unheard of. I can imagine people of a certain mental disposition being confused by the label.

Why anyone would bother regulating it on that basis is beyond me.
4.28.2008 3:21pm
EH (mail):
Dominowski:
I hate to say it, but quite a few people would be under the impression that a beer called 'Legal Weed' would contain something in addition to the alcohol, even if not marijuana. They believe all sorts of silly things, despite my efforts though.


They'll even believe this story is about a beer called "Legal Weed," and not about the imprinting of bottle caps affixed to othernamed beers.
4.28.2008 3:38pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
This hit the wire services Friday (I heard it on the radio.) The issue wasn't that it would mislead consumers, but it was associated with drugs, and drugs are bad, mkay. Apparently Weed, California enjoys making jokes about its name.

The brewer was quoted as saying "Why are they going after the little guy? If they're worried about beers with names that refer to marijuana, they should take on Anheuser-Busch for Bud."
4.28.2008 3:51pm
whit:
"In far Northern California marijuana is pervasive and celebrated and homebrew with weed is not unheard of. I can imagine people of a certain mental disposition being confused by the label. "

if it isn't a legal right, it should be: the right of business to take advantage of the terminally stupid.
4.28.2008 3:55pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Want a misleading name? Try Milwaukee's Best.

Or Lucky Lager.

Or Pabst Blue Ribbon.
4.28.2008 3:55pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I wonder if the feds have heard of Moose Drool, a perfectly fine product of Montana?
4.28.2008 4:06pm
SSD (mail):
But Moose Drool is made from Montana water, so it probably is descriptive.

I think my favorite beer-naming controversy ever was the add for "Polygame Porter--Why drink just one?"
4.28.2008 5:40pm
Bama 1L:
Besides Polygamy Porter, Wasatch Beers also produces 1st Amendment Lager, which some of you want want to try based on its name alone.
4.28.2008 7:02pm
Bleepless (mail):
No part of Mount Rainier is in Rainier Beer and neither Mount Olympus nor the Olympic Mountains show up on the contents list of Olympia Beer. I make no comment regarding the presence or absence of the Coors family.
4.28.2008 11:10pm
Hoosier:
Bama1L—If you like that, come up to Indy. I'll introduce you to '21st Amendment.'

It's a chain store. Can you guess what they sell? (And, no, the answer is not suffragettes.)
4.29.2008 12:15am
LarryA (mail) (www):
Building on Vinnie's idea: the hops used in beer do grow wild in many places, and the hop is part of the family Cannabaceae, which also includes the genus cannabis (also known as hemp). Thus the beer in question arguably does include legal weed.
SHUT UP!! These are the guys who outlawed hemp.
4.29.2008 1:07pm
SusanC:
In Europe, we have several brands of cannabis beers. I believe that are made with cannabis in place of hops, and are legal because they don't contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient. (I've bought hemp seeds from the health food store for use in baking - these also don't contain THC).
4.29.2008 7:38pm