understand the risks

Discussion and plans for legalizing our hobby.

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goose eye
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understand the risks

Post by goose eye » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:43 pm

dont be makein likker an a spokesperson tryin to legalize it cause you gonna get got .

bout like bein pregnit. aint no little bit. you either is makein it or you aint in the eyes of
the law.

just my opinion

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Re: understand the risks

Post by LWTCS » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:51 pm

Mr. goose eye,

Very quickly, with out much consideration off the top of your head.


What type of person would make the best spokesperson and why would they I wonder?

What do you think?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by goose eye » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:02 am

someone that aint cookin when they stand front an center or you best start a defence fund.
at least 5 0s an exspect to get 3 squars an a cot.
when they cant argue the message they come after the messenger an they aint gonna play fair
you got a multi billon dollar industry plus the goverment gonna come again ya.
no your roe.
understand the risks
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Re: understand the risks

Post by HookLine » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:20 am

What type of person would make the best spokesperson and why would they I wonder?
Somebody who lives in New Zealand.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by LWTCS » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:12 am

HookLine wrote:What type of person would make the best spokesperson and why would they I wonder?
Somebody who lives in New Zealand.
Ahhh,,,,,,,start a chain reaction perhaps. Wonder if the us gubmint would consider that a snub?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:49 am

How about someone that has a dsp, or has worked at a dsp. Can't get busted if your legal.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by UnclePaul » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:00 pm

I would really love to get legal, but I ain't got the funds to do the fight. That and I've got one strike against me already so they would look down on me from the beginning.
I just can't understand what the hell happened to this country when all it took was hard work and the desire to succeed, not how much money you had to start and who you knew.
If we had the same government mentalitiy 150 years ago as we do now, we'ld never have crossed the mississippi!

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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:24 pm

HookLine wrote:
What type of person would make the best spokesperson and why would they I wonder?
Somebody who lives in New Zealand.
How could someone in NZ be a spokesperson to other governments??? :?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by LWTCS » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:15 pm

I assume as a lobbyist
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Re: understand the risks

Post by HookLine » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:21 pm

Yes, as a front man lobbyist.

(P.S. I was kinda half joking about the NZ thing.)

Goose got a good point. Whoever does the front line public lobbying will need to be pretty clean.

Anybody here was around at the time home brewing was legalised? How did they go about lobbying for it?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:34 pm

To bad Ted Kennedy passed on. We might have gotten some support.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Dnderhead » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:49 pm

wine was legal with the repeal of prohibition(33), beer was omitted by mistake. I think in 78 congress figured it was not fair.
but I think jimmy carter had something to do with it . I sort of thank he was interested in doing it himself. now wine /beer
have AHA fighting for the ones left out, easier transport etc.

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Re: understand the risks

Post by toofless one » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:19 pm

I see it like this, there is a fair share of americans who would not be willing to take the time and effort to procure their own likker...just the nature of US...the "i want it now" mentality.

there is also many americans who have SEVERE issues with substance abuse. likker is reletively cheep.

so you have two things: a country which is crippled by abuse (as the media tells us) and easily gotten store bought booze.

legalize stillin and the price of a bottle of store bought booze goes way up...prolly way up.
that bum panhandlin on the side of the likker store cant afford a 65 dollar bottle, nor does he have the means to produce his own vodka (thinkin city hobos here). the legal distilleries may end up making more money due to the fact that most americans wont make their own likker. they can make their own beer and wine, but MOST dont. why? its too hard when you can get a 30 pack of natty ice for $13.

maybe a homeless advocacy group could help the fight...keeps booze out of the hands of bums and the like.

just another far fetched though fueled by self interest...typical american :twisted:
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Re: understand the risks

Post by rubber duck » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:32 pm

I don't know Toofless it's a outside the box idea but so was the model A.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:50 pm

toofless wrote: legalize stillin and the price of a bottle of store bought booze goes way up...prolly way up.
I'm curious, why?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by toofless one » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:04 pm

kiwi, im just thinkin that if they are losing revenue from a group that makes their own likker, they are gonna have to make it up somewhere...maybe im wrong, i wasnt very good in HS economics and maybe its showin now :cry:

and it is pretty far fetched...just something to knock around, ya know? the laws which govern this hobby seem pretty far fetched as well.

think about it...maybe we could get Mothers Against Drunk Driving behind us too. If we are makin booze at home, we wont be goin to the bar and drivin home drunk. imagine that MADD fighting for us...THAT is far fetched!
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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:32 pm

Oh ok. Store bought prices didn't change here when it was legalised.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by toofless one » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:51 pm

really? how long ago was it legalized?
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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:54 pm

in the late 90's off the top of my head... the amount of people prepared to go to the lengths of distilling their own is simply too small to have a big effect on the mainstream liquor industry.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by toofless one » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:05 pm

kiwistiller wrote:in the late 90's off the top of my head... the amount of people prepared to go to the lengths of distilling their own is simply too small to have a big effect on the mainstream liquor industry.
I was thinkin that too...too many people will still buy liquor. so what happened in the great land of NZ that swayed politicians into legalizing this? did it come out of the blue or was there lobbying? possibly NZ's legalization movement could be adapted to US...im sure that it has already been thought of...we cant be the first, but something must have happened...a google i shall go...
"Learnin to still is alot like eating a dinosaur...ya gotta do it a bite at a time"

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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:11 pm

In a nutshell, the bureaucrats caught themselves between a rock and a hard place, ended up legalising still ownership but not operation, and then realising they couldn't hope to police it, gave up and legalised :lol: there's a rundown on the parent site.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by wort » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:47 pm

If you want to genuinely lobby for the legalization of home distillation, then you need to put yourself in your opponents view point. You will need to present your case from their view.

The types of counter arguments you will get will be:

Tax – lost revenue in excise tax. This could be countered by using countries that have legalized the use of home stills as a reference. Showing that the numbers of hobbyists that would take up the hobby would not have a significant impact on commercial distillers and would not reduce excise collect in a significant way.

Safety – Insert any concern (valid or not) here. The will need to be consider carefully. One can certainly appreciate that this can be a dangerous hobby. However, if all the proper safety considerations are made, then it’s perfectly safe. Kind of like rally car driving. Follow the expected safety rules and it’s pretty safe. Act like a cowboy, and well, you have a date with Darwin ;0) But safety will be a genuine concern and one that cannot be dismissed.

Social impacts – The downfall of humanity will prevail! A bit dramatic, however, if you look into why prohibition got subscribed into law and has many times over through out history (and not just in the US) you will see the types of people, usually highly religious (I mean absolutely no offence to anyone) and then the negative effects that resulted.

One interesting fact to find out would be to find out how much taxpayers dollars is spent on the locating, prosecuting and incarceration of home distillers and compare that to the potential recoverable excise revenue etc

I personally think that lobbying your governments would not be hard; it would be long and time consuming though. One thing you could draw on is that both wine making and beer brewing is often not illegal (Is there anywhere that it is illegal?) and that distillation of said wines and beers should not be illegal for home use and consumption.

Just my thoughts :0)
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Re: understand the risks

Post by HookLine » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:24 pm

kiwistiller wrote:the amount of people prepared to go to the lengths of distilling their own is simply too small to have a big effect on the mainstream liquor industry.
Same thing as with home beer and wine brewing. Noticed the commercial beer and wine industries going broke since home brewing became legal? Nope, me either. The vast majority of people are simply not interested or able to do it, for one reason or another.

I seriously doubt that legalising home stilling would make even the slightest dent in the commercial sector. In fact, if home stilling went legal it might even give the commercial guys a boost because the general interest in spirits might increase from legalising home stilling.

Even if it did make a dent in their profit, so what? Is there some reason the more expensive commercial side must get favourable treatment over the cheaper home made? We don't require people to only eat in commercial restaurants, despite home food preparation being much less regulated (ie more unsafe) than in commercial kitchens. There are a million other examples of home made stuff being legal, including beer and wine, clothing, food, etc, even though there are vast commercial industries making the same product.

As to lost tax revenue. If we don't make a significant dent in the commercial sales, then there is no lost revenue. And indeed, we would be generating additional tax revenue through the legal sales of stilling equipment and supplies. (We already do, to some extent. So how about some return to the hobby on those tax dollars! :mrgreen: )

Social impact? IIRC, alcohol consumption has been generally rising the world over for decades (with nice profits for the commercial guys). Doubt the authorities can seriously argue that legalising a handful of home stillers is going to affect that. It could be argued that most people who will make their own booze, (spirits, wine and beer) are already doing it anyway, and that the numbers who will take up home stilling after legalisation is unlikely to be great, so legalising it is unlikely to suddenly up the general alcohol consumption rate in the community.

Safety is the only legit concern the authorities can have. If we can show that we can make spirits safely (at least as safely as the commercial guys, and I think we have already done that), then there is no substantive argument left against legalisation. (This is one reason why I push the safety angle so hard on the forums.)

New Zealand's experience of legalised home stilling is now well over a decade old. Commercial booze makers and sellers are still in business, the government is still receiving tax dollars (including from the legal NZ home stilling industry), and NZ society does not seem to have collapsed.

In essence, we only have one case of a country legalising home stilling (and a modern western style democracy at that), and the outcome has not been a bad one.
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Re: understand the risks

Post by goose eye » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:56 am

product liability

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Re: understand the risks

Post by rad14701 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:50 am

Legalization of home distillation will NEVER have as much impact on the wine, beer, and liquor industries as recently stricter DUI laws have had... It wouldn't impact anyone who just wants to dabble at it on a small scale for personal use... Those who insist on producing in large volumes for sales will still be making money and breaking the law because they are selling... We don't want to be portrayed as falling into that category here... Our spirits should remain untaxed because we are not profiting from them so the government really isn't losing any taxes... Products should only be taxable upon sale and not on production but that isn't always the case, at least here in the US - but that's another story altogether...

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Re: understand the risks

Post by Arcane Outlaw » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:05 pm

Concerning the threat to the distilling industry and Government revenue, we need to empasize the "hobby" aspect of home distillation. This is accomplished by:
1. No selling of home produced likker allowed.
2. Setting a small batch production limit for personal consumption.
3. Compare legalization of home distilling to home brewing and wine making (as pointed out, vast majority of population will not participate in this hobby...too much time or effort....easier to buy a bottle).
4. The one I did not think about as pointed out...compare to NZ.

The safety issue definitely needs to be addressed. Would it not be safer if home distillers could come out of the shadows and freely share information in the open?

Unforunately, everybody is hiding because they fear prosecution; however, hiding in the shadows hurts the legalization movement. The Government needs to see that normal, everyday citizens are distilling as a hobby. In other words, we are not all backwoods hillbillies hiding up in the hills distilling shine for a profit (no offense to hillbillies intended...my roots stem from hillbillies :D ). I know from experience that some of us are safer from prosecution than others just based on our location. Where I live, prosecutors and investigators have far more important things to mess with than some guy distilling a few bottles for himself in his garage. Some of you though may live in an area where a prosecutor or investigator is salivating at incarcerating the Al Capone of Small Town, USA.

Additionally, do we need to consider the individual state laws despite federal legalization of home distilling or would all the states follow under the federal law? I know there is no issue with home brewing or wine making. Just something to consider.

Whatever problems exist, maybe it's time to mount an offensive. I know it was tried by that one senator in early 2000??? Is he still a senator? We need to make a list of our friends in the Government who can help lobby our cause, but ultimately it is up to us to provide them with the ammo they need. Maybe we need a Declaration of Home Distillation!

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Re: understand the risks

Post by ScottishBoy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:26 pm

In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
That money translates to billions of dollars each year and I cant see the government even letting the tiniest crack form in that great big dam of money.
Im thinking that if we tried a permit that covered roughly the amount of taxes that a person would give to State and LOCAL via liquor buying, then we might stand a chance. Basically Im talking a Liquor Permit.

Once again, if there is even a hint of the GOV loosing money, it will be protested vehemently, especially by the alcohol industry.

Im going to have to think about this one. You would need at least 5 sympathetic senators to carry anything serious.

Hmmmmm...
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Re: understand the risks

Post by sourdoh » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:36 pm

As for the economic argument, as mentioned, beer and wine makers weren't put out of business by the home made market. In fact, I think the argument could be made that legal homebrewing has helped a lot of local economies by the prevalence of small micro/craft brewers over the past two decades or so. I don't know if that means the big breweries lost business to the little guys or if the new beer popularity created new demand and higher consumption. From what I've heard, the majority of micro/craft brewers started out with homebrewing. There used to be an abundance of local breweries in the US. Every town had their own local stuff. During prohibition, only a few giants of the industry (mostly in Milwaukee?) were able to hang on, and until the 80's or so, they were the only players (other than imports).

If you look at hard alcohol, a large proportion of spirits are imported from overseas, most of the producers have been in business for a long time and are now large worldwide distributors who probably spend more money on advertising than on raw materials.
According to this 2004 report on the spirits industry (http://www.internationalwinecenter.com/ ... Market.pdf), The three largest sellers in the US are Diageo, Allied Domencq, and Bacardi USA; all foreign companies.
In the US, again, you mostly have a few well established manufacturers, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and a lot of much smaller producers.
If there were a healthy active home distilling community, a lot more Americans would get hooked on coming up with creative new beverages that would be produced here. To heck with our reliance on foreign oil, we're too reliant on foreign alcohol! Maybe we can get it snuck into the next economic stimulus package! More jobs created would more than offset the tiny amount of lost tax revenue. The only thing right now that's more important to gubmint than maintaining tax revenue, is creating jobs.

I don't see why there couldn't be a renaissance of locally produced craft spirits like there was for beer. There are already a few new small US producers which proves it can be done.
Perhaps a problem would be the fact that Vodka is the most popular spirit, because it is pretty much flavorless and can be mixed well. Not that small US makers can't put out good Vodka, but just it seems like there's less room for innovation. With beer, it was largely about (re-)introducing new flavors to consumers, big body, hoppy, dark, etc.

What do the Oz and NZ guys think? Following legalization was there any increase of locally produced stuff?

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Re: understand the risks

Post by kiwistiller » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:48 pm

ScottishBoy wrote:In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
That money translates to billions of dollars each year and I cant see the government even letting the tiniest crack form in that great big dam of money.
Shit that's low... I bought a 750ml bottle of gin at 40% from a micro distillery the other day, I paid $45, the government took $17 :shock:
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Re: understand the risks

Post by rad14701 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:54 pm

ScottishBoy wrote:In the US, the GOV gets 3 dollars for every gallon of 100 proof alcohol produced.
The issue is that very few people are going to jump into home distillation just to save $3.00 per gallon... The aggravation versus reward just isn't there... That goes for the entire process, more or less... Very few alcoholics are going to make their beverage of choice because they can't stay sober long enough to do so... They just don't have the patience... It's a novelty hobby more than anything - unless it's done for illegal profit...

We know what it costs, even on a shoestring budget, to get started... We also know the time investment... If the process was legalized you would see very few people jumping onboard simply because the practice went from illegal to legal...

As far as the danger aspect of the hobby, there are many other hobbies that are far more dangerous to both the participants as well as spectators... Drag racing... Stock car racing... Motocross... Free-style skiing, snowboarding, and motocross jumping... Turkey deep frying... Heck, even lawn care can be more dangerous if you don't pay attention... You'll always have more serious injuries from these other activities than you would ever have if home distillation were to be legalized... And you'll always have more people burning down their garages, barns, and homes, due to careless barbecuing, lawn mower repair, or car repairs, than you will with home distillation... It's not speculation, it's fact... The average human is going to take the easy way out... Why make booze when you can buy it... Why fix your home or car, or grow your own food, when you can pay someone to do it...

When you weigh out the facts it just doesn't make for much of an argument against partaking in the hobby other than "because we say so"... Personally, I don't live by that idiom... Never been a yes man and never will be...

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