Currently there is a lot of political debate around alcohol reform thanks to the release of TOP’s Real Action on Alcohol policy.
I wanted to share what it is really like dealing with the direct effects of alcohol harm at the coal face, through my many years as an Emergency and ICU nurse.
The public response to our alcohol policy has been overwhelmingly positive, with the Newshub poll showing 70% support amongst the public for raising the drinking age. This is pretty consistent with previous polls, and our own deliberative democracy process with our members where (once they were informed) only 17% wanted no change to the current laws.
Nevertheless there is always opposition to change, and we’ve had a lot of questions about the evidence behind the policy. This blog takes you through our reasoning.
Our Real Deal Cannabis Reform was based around the idea of reducing overall harm to both individuals and society. One of the most startling facts to discover as part of this process was that alcohol causes far more harm than cannabis. Both alcohol and cannabis are prevalent in our society and enjoyed by a huge number of New Zealanders, however alcohol creates far more total harm[i]. Fortunately, with alcohol we have better evidence to draw from so that we may improve the current legislation that controls its use.
As establishment politicians gather at Parliament to catch up with The Opportunities Party’s harm reduction based Real Deal Cannabis Reform, TOP is moving forward to tackle the serious issue of alcohol related harm amongst young people.