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Local Microbrewery Tussles With Feds Over "Try Legal Weed": Underground Sputters #038; Fumes

Posted by Tom Chandler 4/23/2008

Like any taxpayer, the Underground is happy to see his hard-earned tax dollars being put to their best possible use, and at this point, I've gotta say I'm not that happy.

Mount Shasta Brewery

I learned (via the Sacramento Bee) that the Weed-based Mt. Shasta Brewery is in trouble with the Feds because his bottle cap contains the words "Try Legal Weed."

Puuleeeze.

Weed brewer Vaune Dillmann faces possible sanctions or fines from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau if he continues to brew and sell beer with bottle caps printed with the label "Try Legal Weed."

Bureau spokesman Art Resnick said Monday that the bottle caps tell consumers to support an illegal drug – a policy that violates rules of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as well as the agency's predecessor, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

Does anyone else notice that saying "Try Legal Weed" is specifically NOT supporting the use of an "illegal" drug? How about the Undergrounder Hordes band together and buy a "basic English literacy" text for Bureau Spokesman Art Resnick?

The Underground's Director of Libertarian Political Crusades
(SLF) is no doubt formulating an angry letter to the Feds, and frankly -- once we've removed the threatening language -- it's one I'd be willing to sign.

The beer -- if you haven't tried it -- is sublime. Brewed only 25 minutes north of the Trout Underground/Man Cave World Headquarters, I'm a huge fan of the Shastafarian Porter, and the quality of this stuff makes it easy to "buy local" (as mandated by the economically literate L&T).

I spoke to the folks at the brewery, and while there's no letter-writing campaign in place, I did suggest the creation of a "Protest Brew" -- a beer perfectly suited to slaking the thirst of Thomas Paine wannabes worldwide. (Can I get an "amen" from the Undergrounders -- or maybe just a burp?)

This one's picking up steam really, really quickly, and because Good Beer is one of the things truly worth fighting for (I'd say it's a critical underpinning of Contemporary American Society), the Trout Underground -- clearly the world leader in fly fishing blog-based protection of your sovereign first amendment beer drinking rights -- will stay on top of it.

UPDATE: As of Thursday AM, this story was spreading quickly across the US, and had even landed in the International Herald Tribune (pub'd in France).
See you at the keg, Tom Chandler.

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Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

16 comments
[...] ire of a Vast Federal Agency for its use of #8220;Try Legal Weed#8221; on its bottlecap #8211; a fight chronicled right here on the Underground (the leading fly fishing blog when it comes to the protection of your first amendment beer drinking [...]
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geeez... and I thought our brewery only had all the crazies! Thank for all of your interest and support! I owe you guys a beer! Prost! ... and up your leader! Vaune Dillmann - proprietor (... at least for ... now!)
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Reed: You have stumbled on the reason why property values are skyrocketing up here among the double-wide set; beer flows from the ground.
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Why aren't they in trouble for selling "100% Pure Mt. Shasta Spring Water" and calling it beer? Surely the Dept. of Commerce should be on them for false advertising...unless beer actually flows from the ground...is this what you have been hiding from us, Tom? Do Shasta trout violate the axiom "not sufficiently evolved to burp" (A.J. McClane)? Reed
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This has been a chronic problem with the current administration, always jacking with our natural resources. I don't suppose they've said a word to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Couldn't have designed a better publicity campaign myself. Funny, these guys have been around a while and the feds just found them now?!? Been to the brewery, had the beer, wearing the shirt, but I'm still waiting for the brownie flavored brew from the Weed brewers. Also, these guys aren't the only brewery dealing with censorship issues: http://www.lagunitas.com/beers/censored.html
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A bit like turning up to the airport with a T-shirt inscribed "I am not carrying a bomb". In FedWorld this is plainly a declaration that you are either "wearing" a bomb or "have packed bomb in suitcase" etc.
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The feds might want to talk to Anheuser Busch about Bud.
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I'm ordering a case. I wonder if it's illegal if we inscribe the caps ourselves. ice
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OMG. That just went down as priority #1 for the visit out to Cali next month!!! I've been dying to visit "Weed" to get a picture next to the town sign, but this... oh wow.
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Your humble "Director of Libertarian Political Crusades" is really wondering why a government bureaucracy has any say whatsoever in the brewing and distribution of any drink, let alone what's printed on the bottle cap. Seems the bottle cap's slogan denial also cuts into first amendment rights. Our constitution is marginalized more an more as time passes. Lord, don't get me started. Like the T-Shirt ... more says: "Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms" should be a convenience store, not a government agency.
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Does this mean that the town of Weed is being kicked out of California, unless they change the name, for promoting "An illegal drug?" On second thought, the brewery will probably need somewhere to dispose of all the bottles with those illegal caps... I'm sure I could help out with that.
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Daytripper -- ha! fair enough. need a 'got weed' cupcake to go with your shipment of weed beer? Underground -- I've got your back on this one for sure. this is unbelievable! where do I sign? should we organize an Underground music festival to raise money and awareness. we could have Willie headline. And cross canadian ragweed with their signature tshirts... http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii108/flyfishchick/Got_weed_black.jpg
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The feds may be on to something. I saw what happens to those hippies on an old episode of Dragnet. Watch the show and you'll know that drinking beer with the word "weed" in it is the first step down the road to dying in a crystal meth lab explosion.
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when i saw the topic title I assumed this was on the fly fish chick's site... Do they ship? That Shastafarian Porter looks tasty
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Try Legal Weed??? Is it real "marimba"? If is it and you try, are you going to jail? It´s a nightmare thinking because you have a glass of beer and later you spend the night with a two meters tall lumberjack who needs urgently download his tension...
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