|Photo: Stefan Rousseau/AP|
|British Home Secretary Alan Johnson holds two prototype pint glasses designed not to break up into dangerous shards on impact. The British government wants pubs to try out the shatterproof glasses to cut back on alcohol-related violence.|
From time to time, we as marijuana users may find it instructive to look across the aisle, as it were, at our alcohol-imbibing brethren.
These glances almost always serve to remind us why we choose pot instead.
Such is the case with today’s news from the United Kingdom, where those booze-loving Brits have invented a new, shatterproof pint glass, according to The Associated Press.
That’s right: Limeys will still be able to get smashed, but their pint glasses won’t.
A proud British government unveiled the shatterproof glasses Thursday. Officials claimed the country would save billions in health care by coming up with a glass that doesn’t double as, you guessed it, a lethal weapon.
|Photo: Buck Frain’s Angry Place|
|More than 87,000 “glassing” attacks occur every year in Britain — almost all of them alcohol related, and at pubs.|
Let’s reflect a moment, stoners. Have you ever been at a pot party when someone “got too high,” smashed a glass pipe, and stabbed someone?
Didn’t think so. Neither have I. I feel pretty sure of myself in saying that it’s never happened.
Anyway, the British officials were awfully proud of those shatterproof pint glasses, while never addressing the real problem: The U.K.’s binge drinking culture.
Excessive intake of alcohol almost inevitably, sooner or later, leads to aggressiveness and violence.
Half of all violent assaults in Britain are alcohol-related, and according to Don Shanker of Alcohol Concern, a charity working to lesson alcohol abuse in the U.K., it has become common for drinkers to smash their pint glasses and use them as weapons.
“You are five times more likely to be involved in a violent incident if you are in or around a licensed bar,” Shanker said. “There is a clear correlation.”
(Imagine for a moment if statistics like that showed up about marijuana dispensaries. How long do you think it’d be before there was a general call to shut the pot shops down?)
|Photo: Buck Frain’s Angry Place|
This unsavory phenomenon of aggressive drunks having at each other with broken pint glasses happens on such a depressingly regular basis, there’s even a verb for it: “glassing.”
The British government estimates that glassing attacks cost the National Health Service about 2.7 billion pounds ($4.3 billion) per year.
“One time there was a big fight, and 50 pints were smashed in one minute,” said bartender Mirjam Linzie at the Elephants Head pub in North London.
“One man smashed a glass over another one’s head,” Linzie said. “One person’s eye was popping out. It was a bloodbath. There was glass raining. People were hiding behind the counter.”
Every year in Britain alone, drunken sods attack each other about 87,000 times with broken pint glasses — and many of these brawls result in hospital visits, according to British Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who introduced the two prototype shatterproof pint glasses.
“Glassing causes horrific injuries and has a lasting and devastating impact on victims and their families,” Johnson said.
“I hope these designs will help bring an end to such attacks.”
Yeah, right. Drunks will suddenly become as peaceful as potheads, because their pint glasses won’t break anymore. Dream on, Alan.
Stay tuned for a new wave of bludgeoning injuries as drunken Brits start using the shatterproof pint glasses to club each other’s heads.