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Cracking Down On Weed

Man, the federal government needs to chill out a little bit:

Vaune Dillmann thought the wording on his bottle caps was just a clever play on the name of the northern California town where he brews his beer--Weed.

Federal alcohol regulators thought differently. They have ordered Dillmann to stop selling beer bottles with caps that read "Try Legal Weed." ...

The [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau] responded that the message on the caps amounted to a drug reference. In a letter explaining its decision, the agency said the wording could "mislead consumers about the characteristics of the alcoholic beverage." ...

[Dillmann] said he wonders how some other brewers have gotten away with the names for their products, such as Hemp Ale or Dead Guy Ale. And he can't understand how his label has run afoul of federal alcohol regulators who must surely be aware of one of the most famous advertising slogans in American marketing: "This Bud's for you."

Nice to know Uncle Sam is protecting us from the really dangerous threats out there. As it turns out, Weed is named after timber baron Abner Weed, not any illegal substance (it's in Siskiyou County, not Humboldt). Comments Eugene Volokh: "What next, going after Fat Weasel Ale on the grounds that the beer actually doesn't contain any fat weasels? Is an appreciable number of customers really likely to assume that 'Legal Weed' actually legally includes marijuana, which I take it is the supposed likely confusion?"

--Josh Patashnik