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It seems alcohol is reeling. Every week, I see stories about another industry that's hurting, but few stories point to the culprit: legal marijuana.

In my generation, I see many adults who drink far less but smoke far more (or eat edibles). I've known at least one guy (and there are probably more) who is no longer an alcoholic, but he's smoking a lot of weed (I'm guessing this isn't a technique approved by AA).

This story out of California, though, mentions that marijuana is cutting into wine sales, thereby exacerbating California's current wine industry crisis. The crisis would exist anyway, due to wildfire smoke that damaged the grapes, drought, rising labor and equipment costs, ongoing COVID mandates, and a glut of cheap foreign grapes that are surreptitiously "blended" into the California wine.

All those things will presumably level out. The drought will end; the COVID mandates will cease (well, maybe not).

But "a tectonic shift in generational drinking habits" is the one that probably isn't going to change.

The thing is, alcohol is bad for us, at least on the surface. I tend to think that a moderate amount is good for us, especially on the spiritual level. At a minimum, it shows a level of detachment from obsession about health. But it also fosters a measure of detachment; specifically, detaching our left hemisphere from its jackboot stance on our mental necks.

California Wine Struggles
Louis Sahagún at Los Angeles Times