Thursday, January 13, 2005
Putin Backs Beer
A friend of Vice Squad brings our attention to this BBC story on the possible ban on public beer drinking in Russia. Mr. Putin does not support the proposed ban in its current form -- so, it can no longer be termed a possible ban.
Promoting beer consumption is probably, in net terms, a form of harm reduction in Russia, as more beer drinking will likely mean less vodka consumption. Already recent years have seen a significant shift in this direction, i.e., more beer and less vodka. (Public consumption of vodka is already verboten.) Still, when I lived in Russia, it took a while to get used to seeing people -- often kids who looked to be about 16 -- drinking a beer as they walked down the street. The practice of drinking while walking down the street has apparently not gone away, according to the linked article: "Around 30% of the beer bought in Russia is consumed immediately, as many people find it too expensive to buy alcohol in restaurants and bars."