Pass the Pot Brownies, but Drop That Soda

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Byline: Valerie Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In the City by the Bay, it may soon be easier to get a pot-laced brownie than a can of Pepsi.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently intensified his surge against soda pop just as the city's health department issued regulations to guide medical marijuana shops in how to prepare edible cannabis products.

Which prompts the question: Does Mr. Newsom believe that Sprite and Dr Pepper are more hazardous to your health than a marijuana milkshake? Certainly the mayor, who is running as a Democrat for lieutenant governor, has done little to dispel that perception with his single-minded assault on sugary beverages.

San Francisco is a very unique environment, said Bob Achermann, executive director of the California/Nevada Soft Drink Association, who is less than thrilled with the city's soda assault. San Franciscans are very progressive in their politics, very progressive in their lifestyle, and they push the envelope consistently.

The mayor issued an executive order in April banning Fanta and its ilk from vending machines on city property. The order, now being implemented, also limits diet sodas to no more than 25 percent of the machine's offerings.

The directive encourages soy milk, rice milk and other similar dairy or non-dairy milk. Juice is permitted as long as it is 100 percent fruit, and vegetable juice cannot include added sweeteners.

The mayor hasn't issued an outright ban on sugary beverages yet, but the trend should be disturbing for all San Francisco-based Coke addicts. Mr. Newsom issued a June 21 proclamation declaring this a Soda Free Summer, the third such directive in as many years.

The mayor has also proposed a tax on retailers that sell carbonated sugary beverages in an effort to compel Coke-drinking consumers to think with their wallets.

San Francisco has some of the best water in the world, said Mr. …