Six years ago, The Government of West Australia imposed an alcohol ban in the remote West Australian town of Halls Creek. Now it’s causing more problems as the alcohol ban has given rise to a black market for alcohol as well as prostitution in the town, reports Lucy Martin for ABC News.
Alcohol ban leads to ‘sly-grogging’
According to community leaders, a black market trade has risen because of the ban, with residents buying their alcohol in towns like Kununurra or Broome, in a practice referred to as sly-grogging. Worse, they say the ban has also encouraged underage drinking, while many girls have taken to prostituting themselves to sly-groggers to get money to buy the alcohol or drugs.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton, however, disagrees, saying the alcohol ban has had great results since it went into effect six years ago. She mentions significant drops in alcohol-related hospitalisation, alcohol-related injuries and incidences of domestic violence. Morton also says lifting the ban, which some residents are calling for, is not the answer to the town’s current problems.
What’s clear here is that an outright ban is simply not the answer. All one has to do is open some history books and see what Prohibition, in the end, did to the United States. Prohibition, in so many respects, gave rise to bootleggers that went on to become full-time criminal organisations that continue to plague the country. Regulation sounds better, especially where it concerns young people.
Then again, some of the problems mentioned above are not exactly dependent on whether or not an alcohol ban is in place. After all, prostitution and underage drinking happen even when alcohol is sold freely. Tricky situation, this one.
Read the full article here.