First visitor in China

So I finally got my first visitor from China.
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong according to my stats.
I had heard that wordpress blogs were blocked in China,but I guess not.
Good luck to the Sino-Stoners. I hope you’re able to get closer to legalization quicker than we are.


Little Trouble in Big China

Just created my first version of the Chinese drink tags

All the alcohol and soda companies are slobbering over themselves to develop their markets in China, so I thought it would be good of the Chinese had something else to think about.



animatedexpQ: How does one exhibit economic pressure in support of a prohibited substance?

The marijuana re-legalization movement has come a long way, sort of.  California has medical marijuana, yet the federal government seems to be doing its darndest to eliminate that bastion of medical liberty. New York City has long since decriminalized, but remains the arrest capital of the world when it comes to the herb. I’ve long since given up any real hope that substantial progress will be obtained strictly through the ballot box. I’ve adopted the motto, and tweet it often, “Forget Congress, its about commerce”

But how does one flex one’s commercial muscles in support of an illicit substance? If you offer positive support by patronizing the existing infrastructure you still risk incarceration. An alternative is to withdraw support from those who benefit from the prohibition of marijuana, which is where I have chosen to focus. In this case, it seems like those that manufacture, distribute, and sell alcohol are some of the main beneficiaries of the federal ban on weed, although one could include sweetened, carbonated beverages (soda) as well.  If I were to choose to consume marijuana instead of alcohol on a given night, it seems like that would be a small hit to brewers, vintners, and distillers.

One hit to the folks that make alcohol isn’t going to make a significant impact. What we need is a little leverage. According to this article in QSR Magazine ( ) restaurant sales accounted for 24% of total beer sales. But there’s a funny thing about restaurants, they make a good chunk of their profits from the sale of alcohol and carbonated, non-alcoholic beverages.

Take a look at this sample restaurant income statement. (

Gross profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages and sodas account for over 80% of total profits in this sample income statement. This certainly isn’t a perfect way to look at this situation, because it takes overhead into account after gross profit, without attributing any of the overhead cost to beverage sales, but its an okay starting point.

Ok, so where does the leverage come in you ask? Well, if you can start shutting down restaurants because they can’t sell enough alcohol and fizzy drinks to make operations worthwhile, the beer, wine, and liquor companies not only lose the opportunity to sell to you, but they also lose the opportunity to sell to all of the other customers at those restaurants. That is the first level of leverage.

But there is another aspect that comes into play. If a beer company has publicly traded shares, the value of those shares are typically determined by the earnings of a company, as well as the growth rate of that company’s earnings, among a few other variables. The higher the expected growth rate of a company’s earnings, the higher the company’s share price, all other things equal. Helping to reduce the expectation of the company’s growth rate with a headwind provided by reduction of alcohol and soda consumption from cannabis users could have an impact on share prices.

So how do I propose people begin to have an impact in this way? Its fairly simple. I would say that cannabis users just simply stop buying alcohol and carbonated beverages, especially when they go to restaurants. But just as importantly, when you choose to not consume these beverages, leave a non-drink ticket behind, so that management knows that you  did it and why you did it.

Clicking will open pdf file of a sheet of non-drink tickets.

If they don’t realize why their beverage sales are down, they can’t quantify what sort of impact cannabis consumers have on their business. At the end of the day, week, or year, they will have a stack of tickets where a stack of cash would have been.

But what if a restaurant supports legalization or reform? If a restaurant supports reform, they should let their customers know. How would you know they support legalization? Well, how do you know they take credit cards? They have a sign that tells you when you walk in the door? How do you know they won an award for best burger in the city? They put it on a sign and display it by the bar or on their website. That’s what we’re looking for here. They don’t have to hit  you over the head with it, but a sign would be good. Something like this window cling perhaps:

heck, I’ve got a bunch of these static adhesive stickers printed already, so if you’re a restaurant owner, send me a email with a postal address at utwif2012 at   gmail*com or tweet me at @utwif.

Just to be clear, UTWIF is not anti-restaurant, or anti-alcohol. Most of the people we know employed by the food industry smoke fair bit of weed. Having a drink or five can be a nice way to spend an evening with friends. But there is a harsh asymmetry in the legal statuses of marijuana, alcohol, and caffeine. We just want those who benefit from that asymmetry to give back a little support to their cannabis-consuming customers. And maybe if you save a few dollars by not  buying as many drinks, you can flow a few bucks to one of the groups working for law reform.

White Vynyl window clings — just in from printer

So I just got my first shipment of white vinyl static window clings in from the printer.

If  you are a business owner, or even if you’re not, and want to put one up on your window,  a mirror, fridge, or whatever, shoot me a gmail xATx utwif2012.

Let your customers or friends know in a more understated way that you support legalization, in some form or another.

Window cling now available.
email or leave a comment if you’d like one.

Protest on the Go!

A few of the high points on why I like UTWIF


  1. Easy – Just order water instead of soda or alcohol with the meals you get at a restaurant, and leave the tag when you pay your bill.
  2. Ongoing – Unlike most protests that end at the end of the day, with UTWIF you can make your voice heard every time you eat out.
  3. Quantifiable – You not ordering a drink for a meal may not seem like much, but at the end of the week,  month, or year restaurant owners will be able to tally their tickets from all their customers and see what kind of impact cannabis supporters have on their business.
  4. Conversation Starter – If you’re eating a meal with someone, using the ticket with them can be an easy way to start a conversation about legalization in a non-confrontational way.
  5. Cheap – A sheet of tags can be downloaded for free and printed on a color printer at your local print shop for about a dollar. This gives you 16 chances to protest. No beer and soda saves you money.
  6. Distributed – Because its a free file download, anyone can participate and protest, even if there’s no organized protests or organization directing your protest.
  7. Equitable — If weed’s not legal, maybe our consumption of alcohol, carbonated soft drinks and caffeine should be looked at a bit more closely.
I included my non-drink ticket with my payment

Show your support for legalization by non-drinking today!

Sit Down and Be Counted!

April is upon us once again, and with it, the unofficial day of cannabis celebration, April 20th. As has been the case for several years, many members of the Dopetribe will descend on coffee shops in Amsterdam to take advantage of the city’s relaxed cannabis laws. This year, however, celebration will be tempered with apprehension, as certain factions of the Dutch government look to implement the Weed Pass system, effectively banning non-Dutch citizens from the city’s famous cannabis coffee shops.

One of the obvious implications of the weed pass system are economic. Directly, the coffee shops will bear the brunt of the changing laws, as a primary stream of customers will be ejected from the market. Indirectly, however, the rest of the tourism-supporting businesses, including restaurants, hotels, taxis, will also suffer the loss of customers.  For these businesses, it is more difficult to quantify the impact, as customers don’t necessarily tell the hotels, taxis, and restaurants that they are in Amsterdam to take advantage of lenient drug regulations. Because of this, it may be difficult for these companies to gauge the impact the Weed Pass will have on their businesses, and to know how much energy to put into efforts to oppose the Weed Pass.

This situation presents an opportunity for Dopetribe in general, but especially for those members going to Dopestock to make their voices heard. I would like to propose to those members of the Dopetribe going to Amsterdam for the third week in April to refrain from drinking alcohol and soda while sitting down for meals at Amsterdam’s restaurants. Instead of drinking alcohol, choose water, and leave a non-drink ticket when paying for your meal.

Using the non-drink ticket is a small way for cannabis consumers to let businesses know who their customers are, and gives businesses a better idea of what sort of economic impact more restrictive regulations will have on their sales. For now, cannabis consumers visiting Amsterdam can refrain buying alcohol and soda, but if the Dutch implement more restrictive drug laws, cannabis consumers may not show up to buy anything at all.

Download UTWIF and non-drink your way to help Cannabis legalization.

Business Activism — Supporting Cannabis Legalization

If you represent a business and support Cannabis legalization, consider putting a decal like this in your window. Its a bit more subtle that the normal pot leaf, but can still get its point across.

Choose from the understated white background (available now send me gmail at utwif2012), or the black background (not yet available in free decal form) with glowing image for a bit more verve.

The file is a 4″x4″ .png file which can be used at printers like

Alternatively, if you’re sort of nearby, leave me a comment with your name and address and I can send you one.