Letters & Opinion

The Dangers of Rum Shop Proliferation

By Edwin James

If St. Lucians were told that over 3,400 bars and rum shops existed on island, would they be surprised? Or are they already aware? Another bit of information at hand is that a number of private homes are used as bars and rum shops.  Obtaining a liquor license is quite stringent, consequently, we can only assume that the majority of the 3,400 are operating illegally.  It is therefore incumbent on the comptroller of customs to immediately carryout a survey to confirm whether this information is current and if so, ensure that these rum shops are adequately certified.  Assuming our information regarding the number of bars and rum shops do exist, we can safely assume that this is indeed one of the most prolific businesses on island which is sad.

Government needs to take hold of the situation as urgently as possible as the matter will only go from bad to worse.  It is beyond any comprehension that in such an advanced world, our people have resorted to this type of business when there are so many more productive ways to earn a living.  On a recent TV program we were amazed to learn how high St. Lucia ranked on an international list as far as alcohol consumption was concerned.

Unfortunately, this situation did not take place over night, which means that successive administrations remain at fault and under those conditions, the current administration must start addressing the matter.  We can clearly understand why the Minister of Health made the comment while reviewing the state of alcohol consumption on island as one situation leads to another.  The senseless homicides, drunk driving and total disregard for law and order all stem from the state of the mind indirectly precipitated by one’s diet.  This is going to be a long and tedious road to address, but it is a process that must be addressed or face the consequences of a population in decline.  We sincerely trust that concerned St. Lucians reading this article today will take the time to understand the seriousness of the situation and decide what method of contribution they can offer.

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