The current system of voluntary self-regulation of alcohol advertising is not working to reduce the harms from excess drinking, especially amongst young people, which is why the glamorization of alcohol through public advertising and sponsorship should be banned.

In its submission sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee on the Alcohol Reform Bill, NORML NZ cited research showing that alcohol advertising and promotion increases the likelihood of adolescents taking up alcohol, and drinking more if they already use alcohol.

“We think current regulation concerning the advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco is an effective model that should be consistently applied across alcohol and other drugs,” said NORML president Stephen McIntyre.

“When cannabis finally becomes legally regulated and taxed here, we expect it to be treated the same and subject to an R18 restriction for purchase, as well as a ban on public advertising and promotion. Our New Zealand model is the Daktory in West Auckland which has a strict R18 policy.”

“In Holland, where cannabis is available for sale to adults-only from licensed coffeeshops images of cannabis or any other type of display or promotion featuring cannabis cannot be publicly displayed.”

“Furthermore, the Dutch have a policy of ‘No Nuisance’ both for bars selling alcohol and coffeeshops.”

“The policy means that both bars and coffeeshops are held responsible for what patrons do even after leaving the premises. Because they can lose their license, those establishments have a strong interest in not getting customers to the state where violence or trouble are likely to occur.”

“Implementation of such a policy in New Zealand for all licensed premises as well as off-licenses would have a hugely beneficial impact on the way alcohol is sold and consumed.”

“What’s more, ‘No Nuisance’ is a flexible concept that can be adapted by local authorities and communities for their own circumstances and priorities; for example, deciding how close bars can be located in proximity to schools,” concluded Mr McIntyre.

– ends –

More info:
Alcohol Reform Bill on Parliament website
NORML’s representation on the Alcohol Reform Bill
Worldwide Weed: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wikipedia: Drug policy of the Netherlands