Mart, Sarah

Sarah Mart, MS, MPH, is the Research&Policy Manager of the Marin Institute, an organization that fights to protect the public from the impact of the alcohol industry’s negative practices. We monitor and expose the alcohol industry’s harmful actions related to products, promotions and social influence, and support communities in their efforts to reject these damaging activities.

Alcohol Industry Reaps Rewards While California Residents and Government Budgets Suffer

By Sarah Mart
Marin Institute

Last year, alcohol companies funneled more than $3 million dollars to key California legislative committee members, the Governor’s “Budget Reform Now” political action committee, and various lobbying efforts. Topping the list of Big Alcohol political influencers in 2009 were Anheuser-Busch InBev ($417,968), Wine Institute ($327,859), Diageo ($220,697), and MillerCoors ($190,000).

A Solution to the Public Health Emergency Created by Alcoholic Energy Drinks

By Sarah M. Mart

On Monday, April 12, 2010, the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization (GO) will vote on AB 1598 (Beall, San Jose), a bill that will ban the sale of alcoholic energy drinks in California.

Alcoholic energy drinks (AEDs) are a marketer’s dream: sweet and fruity, brightly colored, easily mistaken for nonalcoholic drinks, and inexpensive, with plenty of market-driven word of mouth from youth, particularly on Facebook and YouTube. 

AED producers add stimulants such as caffeine and guarana to malt beverages to create these potent and dangerous alcopops. AEDs often contain substantially higher levels of caffeine than coffee. These stimulants mask the true effects of alcohol, which can lead to increased risk-taking by the drinker.

Alcohol Harm Mitigation Fee Bill Reconsidered On January 5

By Sarah Mart

Marin Institute

The alcohol lobby works hard to keep their clients from paying for the harm that beer, wine and spirits cause in California. Big Alcohol’s latest target is the Alcohol-Related Services Act of 2009 (Assembly Bill 1019), scheduled for a vote in the Assembly Health Committee on January 5. 

If passed, AB 1019 will bring $1.44 billion in annual revenue to help remedy the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

The bill will also help mitigate the harm caused by alcohol in California by assessing a fee equal to 10 cents a drink on spirits, wine and beer.

The mitigation fee will fund the Alcohol-Related Services Program, five equally-funded alcohol-related component services in the following categories: treatment and recovery; emergency and trauma; hospitalization and rehabilitation; criminal justice and enforcement; and prevention, education, and research.