Responsibility.org today welcomed the United States Cannabis Council (USCC) as a new member of its Corporate Partner Program. Through this first of its kind cross-industry partnership, leading distillers and cannabis companies are joining forces to prevent underage alcohol and cannabis consumption and multiple substance impaired driving.
Responsibility.org Corporate Partners share the organization’s commitment to ending all impaired driving, preventing underage drinking and empowering adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. USCC joined as a “Responsibility Champion,” the highest level offered.
Chris Swonger, president and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and Responsibility.org, explained why the partnership will save lives:
“Distillers are proud to lead the charge in promoting a culture of responsibility, and we know that in today’s world important conversations about alcohol responsibility, especially when talking to kids, can’t happen without also talking about cannabis use. Alcohol and cannabis don’t exist in separate silos. That’s why welcoming USCC into the Responsibility.org family is the smart and strategic thing to do. As cannabis legalization expands, we’re adapting our proven programs and research because multiple substance impaired driving is an increasingly serious concern on our roads. And as we mark our 30th anniversary, we will keep working with all stakeholders to build on our success of preventing underage consumption and eliminating impaired driving.”
USCC Interim President and CEO Steve Hawkins highlighted the value of learning from Responsibility.org:
“A culture of responsibility needs to be at the heart of the legal cannabis industry, and we plan to draw on the lessons learned from Responsibility.org’s three decades of unmatched leadership. We’re proud to formalize our partnership today. With more states legalizing cannabis, everyone from police officers to town councils to state legislators needs our help to navigate new laws and realities. We can do this by getting ahead of the issues and learning from one another.”
Since 1991, Responsibility.org’s cutting-edge, science-based educational programs, resources for policymakers and practitioners, and innovative communications campaigns have contributed to record-low underage drinking levels and continual decreases in impaired driving fatalities.
According to the latest available data, 30 percent of driver fatalities in motor vehicle crashes involved a driver who tested positive for drugs. Driving impaired by one substance is dangerous but when substances are combined, there is a multiplicative effect on driver impairment. People who drive under the influence of alcohol and other substances are up to 200 times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Nearly 4 out of 5 parents and their kids report they are talking about underage cannabis use. However, the annual Monitoring the Future survey of substance use behaviors reports 25 percent of American teens used cannabis in the past year and the perceived harmfulness and disapproval of smoking marijuana occasionally has been declining among high school seniors.
“It’s important for our country’s cannabis industry to be a central partner in ongoing efforts to reduce impaired driving and prevent irresponsible use of cannabis products,” said Mr. Hawkins.
Currently, one in three Americans now live in an area where cannabis consumption is legal. We must work together to keep our children and roadways safe. As a leader in prevention and promoting responsible and healthy choices, Responsibility.org has educational programming for parents, teachers, and kids to prevent underage alcohol and cannabis consumption and a wide breadth of resources to tackle the ongoing impaired driving problem.
For more information, please visit www.Responsibility.org.
About Responsibility.org: The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky LLC, and Pernod Ricard USA. For 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices.
About United States Cannabis Council (USCC): The United States Cannabis Council is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. USCC members seek to harness their collective expertise in order to advance social equity, end the federal prohibition of cannabis, modernize federal and state regulations and promote high ethical standards within the industry.