Making bad habits easier to cultivate

Making alcohol easier to get will make it easier for people to indulge.

I’m all for freedom to do as you choose – as long as it doesn’t impinge on my – or anyone else’s – freedoms.

For example, get hammered if you like, just don’t get behind the wheel of a car and drive into me. Or visit a casino and gamble until your money is gone – don’t expect me or others to reimburse you for your missing mortgage payment.

We’re only human. We often use that phrase, but what does it mean? In many cases, it means that we cannot withstand the devious marketing techniques that are carefully designed to get inside our heads – and into our wallets.

If there is money to be had, the greediest among us will figure out how to pry it from our fingers – and then blame us for giving it to them. The worst among them look for our weakest points and exploit them. Like casino operators. Alcohol manufacturers. Cigarette companies.

It’s a long list that includes many products that are illegal at this time. And why are things like euphoric drugs illegal if not to disuade the general population from using them?

Many years ago, my home city put it one of the first casinos in Canada. Easy money. They made the art gallery move, of all things, so they could inhabit that prime location. Suddenly a hand full of pawn shops grew into a booming industry; offices sprang up around the downtown area advertising gambline addiction services.

It’s what everyone knew would happen, but… well, the economy was dragging and there’s nothing like a casino to attract people into town.

Our governments are among the worst. Build a casino and make a truckload of cash. What about the harmful effects on the general population? Well, they should just know their limit and play within it. If they can’t, that’s just too bad.

Now the BC government is thinking of ways to make liquor more accessible. Grocery stores? Why not gas stations, like they do in the US? It’s easy money. If people can’t control themselves, we can just hire more police.

And ignore the growing social problem and hope it goes away.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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