Glad to see that Attorney General Doug Gansler has solved all of Maryland’s problems regarding crime, punishment, and ensuring that we prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law. Gives him plenty of time to deal with this:

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and public health advocates launched a campaign Tuesday to make sure drinks like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Jack Daniel’s Black Jack Cola are considered legally the same as liquor, not beer.

Yes, the Attorney General is concerning himself with the consumption of alcohol and how one defines said alcohol. Seriously. And, of all things, the entire controversy seems to revolve around two things: tax dollars and teenagers.

The legislature is considering a bill backed by alcohol manufacturers and distributors that would classify the beverages as beer, overruling an opinion that Gansler issued this month declaring such beverages — loosely termed “alcopops” — to be spirits under the law because of how they are made and because of evidence that they are popular among teenagers. The opinion effectively changes the way the drinks have been regulated in the state for decades.

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Lobbyists for the liquor industry, who deny the drinks are marketed to teens and argue they should be classified like beer because of their alcohol content, have been pushing hard for the bill, which passed in the Senate with little fanfare.

Well, frankly I couldn’t care less how the alcopops are classified, seeing as how I don’t drink them. And frankly, I don’t see the need to differentiate the level of taxation one alcohol is subjected to versus another.

The good news is that apparently Doug Gansler is applying his crack skills as a beer expert on this case:

Beer is yellow with foam,” Gansler told reporters at a news conference, holding up a bottle of Smirnoff Source, which is described this way on its label: “contains pure spring water + alcohol.”

“This is not beer,” he added.

Well, glad we cleared that up, though I assure you that connoisseurs of Guinness, Killians, and about 3,000 other different kinds of ales, lagers, and darker brews would beg to differ.

All kidding aside, I am disparately trying to figure out how Gansler’s knee-deep involvement in this issue is doing anything to about the tough issues that Maryland faces. Regulating alcopops as liquor instead of beer isn’t going to do a thing to curb underage drinking, and anybody that thinks it will is an idiot; it’s not like the reclassification is going to stop the legal adults buying the stuff from giving it to those underaged kids. Nor is this argument really going to do that much to abate the state budget problem; it’s not like the increased revenue from taxing the products as liquor instead of beer is going to do much to abate the O’Malley induced economic jumble.

So…..realistically I have no idea what the hell Gansler thinks he is doing and how this is going to benefit the people of Maryland. But I am glad to see that Gansler thinks that he has accomplished all he can do to stop crime, promote public safety, and put criminals behind bars. Because I suppose it shows that we really need an Attorney General who cares about real public safety issues instead of getting his name in the paper…


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