Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Another Perspective on AP16

April 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Story, News, Taxes, Temperance

Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women’s Forum reports on her experience at the Alcohol Policy 16 conference last week.  She draws conclusions similar to my own. She notes:

I’ve written some on alcohol policy in the past (here and here) and as the director of IWF’s Women for Food Freedom project, I’m always interested in figuring out where food and beverage regulations are headed next.

It was in this spirit that I attended a three-day conference last week in Washington, DC called Alcohol Policy 16 which was billed as a conference “on the avoidance of alcohol-related problems using public policy strategies.”

Yet, it didn’t take me long to realize that this conference really wasn’t about avoiding alcohol-related problems. Rather, it was about using the hammer of the state to make Americans avoid alcohol altogether. In fact, the conference program sets the tone with a rather dramatic quote by late anti-alcohol activist Griffith Edwards who said “alcohol is in itself Evil” and “society must rid itself of alcohol.” So much for the pre-dinner cocktail hour standard at these types of Washington conferences. Bummer.

Read her full piece at IWF’s Inkwell Blog.

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2 Responses to “Another Perspective on AP16”
  1. Barbara Ryan says:

    Angela Logomasini would have better served readers if she had not taken the Griffith Edwards quote out of context–as below. And Edwards was no anti-alcohol activist. His obituary in the NY Times reads:
    “For all his work to reduce abuse, Dr. Edwards maintained a strong skepticism of prohibitive measures. He and his wife hosted salonlike events at their house in Greenwich that were known for more than the warm conversation.

    “He was a real wine connoisseur, and there was always a cocktail before dinner,” Dr. Babor said. “He was a strong believer in social drinking.”

    Full quote:
    “The following summarizes the deep layers of conscious and subconscious, ambivalent, contradictory, cherished or anathematized but always powerful beliefs which are in sum the historical legacy affecting our thinking on alcohol today:
    Alcohol is the good creature of God.
    Alcohol is in itself an evil.
    Society must rid itself of alcohol.
    Society must rid itself of Prohibition and all its works forever and ever.
    Alcohol has nothing to do with alcoholism.
    That’s quite some legacy, especially so as those statements are not mere theoretical abstractions, but ideas which have often been held with passionate and crusading form. Those statements attempt to encapsulate features of the U.S. experience, but every other country is likely also to have a potent set of historically derived beliefs on alcohol which will drive or constrain its present-day approaches to alcohol issues. We would do well to bring all our histories a little more into consciousness.”

  2. Angela Logomasini says:

    Thanks Barbara. It was not my quote, but from another post that I linked to. Thanks for posting the entire one and for the background information on Edwards. What I heard at this event itself reflected a very anti-alcohol and unbalanced view, and in that context I think the Edward’s quote in the program was confusing. But your background information provides additional context for his perspective, which is helpful.

    Here is the entire page where the quote appeared:

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