Seems like politicians have finally caught on that our drinking laws need a serious revision. A new study is underway to look at whether people should be allowed to bring liquor to beaches and parks.
But can people drink responsibly? Real adults, yes. But the teens and the 20 and 30 somethings that never grow up, probably not. However, guess what: that Starbucks cup in their hand they’re holding in the beach or park likely has alcohol in it, so they’re already doing it. You just don’t see it, and that is enough of a reason to allow it. It’s already happening, and just because a small minority can’t handle their liquor responsibly doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t be allowed to.
From a previous article, here’s our take on alcohol consumption in our society:
Simply put, B.C.’s liquor laws treat alcohol as if it were a poison or magical potion. These highly archaic and illogically restrictive policies contribute to the public view (particularly for youth) of alcohol as a forbidden fruit, a coming of adulthood, and a rebellion against authority. Relative to the many other nations (particularly in Western Europe) that have built a significantly more mature view of alcohol consumption in their societies, responsible drinking is not taught in B.C., and such a societal norm and consensus can only be taught through a pragmatic openness and enlightenment towards the very perception of alcohol.
A society that shows it can responsibly enjoy alcohol, without treating it as some pariah or taboo, is also a sign of a mature society. However, more often than not, because of the actions of a very small minority of people (whether it be drunk drivers or the binge drinkers who instigated the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot or even the overreaching campaigns of modern prohibitionists who themselves do not understand alcohol and the issues), the rest of the population suffers from the lack of opportunity for mature enjoyment. A more mature view and open practice to responsible drinking would significantly decrease the number of cases of “binge drinking.” To make alcohol a taboo implies that drinking should be done secretly and rarely.
Naturally, there are concerns over parties, noise and disruptions. This will be the largest argument against allowing drinking on public beaches and parks.
Public drinking is legal in Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan, so why not here in British Columbia?
With the Mayor and City Council’s focus on the interests of the young population, it will probably pass easily in Vancouver. However, the first hurdle is with the province as liquor regulations lie under provincial jurisdiction. It will be up on the provincial government and its draconian liquor board to allow drinking on beaches and provinces. Only then can the mountains of red tape bylaws within the City of Vancouver be changed.
Take our poll and have your say.
Image by Stephen Dyrgas