Alcohol and Marijuana: Latest Gallup Polls

Income and education are key factors

The Gallup people have just released their latest annual survey of drinking in America as well as a poll on marijuana trial and usage. Gallup has conducted the alcohol survey every year since 1939 and the marijuana poll has been running since 1969.

Some key findings:

  • Overall, 64% of Americans say they drink alcohol – unchanged over the years.
  • Upper income and highly educated Americans are most likely to say they drink alcohol.
  • Beer is the most widely preferred drink.
  • More than 4 in 10 say they have tried marijuana with 10% claiming to be current smokers as compared with 7% two years ago.

Alcohol and drinking over the years remains consistent

Gallup has been asking the same question over the years – Do you have occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine, or beer? The proportion saying yes has remained consistent – 58% in 1939, in the 60% area since then and 64% in 2015.

Alcohol drinking trends
Alcohol drinking trends

The form of alcohol Americans most often drink remains fairly consistent with the past. 42% report beer most often, 34% say wine and 21% favor liquor.

Type of alcohol drank most often
Type of alcohol drank most often

Socio-economic status and drinking correlate

This year’s analysis focused on education and income as it relates to who drinks. In a nutshell, upper income and higher educated Americans are more likely than others to drink. They postulate that upscale Americans have more opportunities for drinking occasions such as dining out and going on vacation. Sounds right to me. But I don’t think that’s it entirely.

What I found most interesting is that nearly half (47%) of those with incomes over $75,000 are more likely to have had a drink in the past 24 hours. Among college graduates it’s 45%. So there’s a fair amount of at home drinking.

They also asked about overindulging and there were no difference by income level. But, there were significant differences by education with college graduates less likely to report being “over served.” They offer two explanations. One is that “those with more formal education may be less willing to report a socially undesirable behavior in a public opinion survey.”

The other is “Data from various government and academic studies confirm the relationship between income and alcohol consumption. The studies also indicate upper-income drinkers mostly drink in moderation, but lower-income Americans tend to abstain completely, or to drink heavily.”

Type of alcohol

As mentioned, beer is the dominant type of alcohol consumed, but before you beer folks start high-fiving, consider the growth in craft beer and the decline in mainstream beer brands. In fact, those with higher incomes are equally as likely to drink beer and wine most often.

Marijuana trial and usage

Earlier in the month Gallup reported on a poll that delved into cannabis experimentation and current use.

As the chart below reveals, the percentage of Americans who say they have tried marijuana has steadily increased since the first measurement in 1969 – from 4% to 44% in the span of less than 50 years.

Have tried marijuana
Have tried marijuana

Legalization in some states plus the growing support for legalization is an obvious factor. In a study conducted in 2014, Gallup found that overall 51% of Americans favor legalization, Conservatives and Republicans are more likely to be opposed and those in states in the East and West are the biggest supporters.

Support legalization
Support legalization

Finally, the recent Gallup study on marijuana shows that 1 in 10 Americans said yes and this is up from 7% two years ago.

Currently smoke marijuana
Currently smoke marijuana

Is there any doubt that marijuana legalization will continue and that usage will as well?

The Northwest News Network (a collaboration of public radio stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho) reported this week that Washington’s Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. It will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Portends of things to come.

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Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka: Booze Meets Grass

What do you think about Vodka made with hemp?

Well, there is one, and it’s called Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka™ on sale in Canada.

Mary Jane Primo Hemp Vodka With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington many wonder which state will be up next in going pro-cannabis (Speaking of “going pro” the outcome of the Super Bowl suggests Washington might handle their grass a bit better than those Coloradans– but I digress).

Let’s look at another approach.

What is the story behind Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka?

An entrepreneur in Canada named S.R. Collier (founder and CEO) developed a vodka brand with a 4.20% infusion of Hemp, which is introduced during distillation. That negligible amount of THC (the chemical responsible for marijuana’s effect) and the distillation process do not affect the buzz but rather give the brand some “fun, naughty and interesting marketing hype,” according to Mr. Collier.
I have not had the opportunity to try it yet but from what I am told it provides a distinctive and unique taste with overtones of hazelnut. Collier explains that the Hemp oil yields an “ultra smooth” profile.

Are you wondering why this Mary Jane Vodka isn’t available in the United States? Enter the alcohol regulatory authority.

931261_584625774901860_939780572_nThe product was submitted to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for formula and label approval. The formula was approved but due to the label containing the image and phrase ‘Mary Jane’ (slang for marijuana) the product was ultimately rejected. Who knew the TTB are so hip?

But wait a minute. This is the same regulatory agency that approved alcohol labels with such names as Fokker Ale, Fuchen Liqueur, Chockin’ Chicken, Fat Bastard, Big Dick Beer, along other classy names.  Never mind, Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka cannot be sold in the US under that name. But, the product itself is okay. Check out Robert Lehrman’s blog for more information.

Enter Washington’s Revolution Spirit.™

It turns out that our founding fathers (Washington and Jefferson included) grew Hemp on their farms. The crop was useful for rope, paper, and clothing. Hemp was long promoted in Virginia as an alternative cash crop to tobacco. According to some sources, Washington, not only grew Hemp, but also actively promoted its growth. It’s claimed that in letter to his plantation field manager, he wrote: “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, . . . and sow it everywhere!”

So, Mr. Collier has changed the name of his product to Washington’s Revolution Spirit.™ for US distribution. The TTB approved that label and it uses the Mary Jane’s Primo Hemp Vodka formulation currently used in Canada. Same recipe, different name.

Very clever idea, eh?

By the way, the brand is for sale including the brand names, websites, intellectual property, glass molds, inventory, and so on. Let me know if you’re interested.
Check out the different labels:

9567009691_fb64355964_c HempVodkaDotCom

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