I think we can all agree that Halifax needs more publicly-available alcohol. We seek the solace of chemical concoctions so we can forget that we have three exams and a paper due next week, or that our union bureaucracy is bogging down our extra-curricular societies with agonizingly slow approval processes. Then there’s the soul-numbing federal elections looming ever closer – it’s all enough to, I dunno, make someone wish they had a something a little more potent to drink with their meal.
Those lucky Americans have the right idea. In between wiretapping the entire country and the unstoppable march of neoliberalistic communism, America has reached into the final frontier of the service industry. Taco Bell Cantina in Chicago has taken up serving alcoholic drinks with their fast food. One day soon they’ll be introducing the drive-through intoxicant, and then within our lifespan, America will take over Canada.
But I digress. Halifax has businesses that serve liquor with their services. I am not at liberty here to say which ones, mostly because I’ve heard of those places getting shut down, but suffice to say that at times when I have been fortunate enough to bring my ID with me, such establishments have provided me with complimentary drinks to improve the customer experience. As a benevolent-minded citizen, I must recommend this practice to everyone. If we had free beer at our polling booths, we’d encourage more participation in the democratic process, soothe partisan tensions in the waiting lines, and voters wouldn’t need to go out afterwards and despair over a day without spirits.
But who says it needs to stop here? While we’re at it, why not open the door to other substances? Sweeping decriminalization turned out well for Portugal: drug-induced deaths plunged roughly 80%, long-term substance abuse rates dropped, and HIV infection rates fell. We could open up a Cannabis Denny’s, start an opium bar in a farmer’s market, or offer cocaine to go-kart racers. The free market could take this industry far, if pesky laws stopped standing in our way. We only know that drugs are addictive when they’re illegal and addicts have to hit the street to ‘pick up the goods’ — for all the naysayers know, a rush of ecstasy while visiting a cat café could be perfectly harmless.
Now I know there will be some out there who question the validity of such policies. “Just say no”, “Drugs are bad, ‘mmmkay,” etc. You worry about the shock such sudden libertine legislation would cause to our collective systems. You’re not wrong.
We must approach this with some perspective, of course. Baby steps. The open alcohol tables at the summer’s food truck parties were a hit. We can expand that into alcohol at all kinds of events, like the Halifax Pop Explosion and Hal-Con. From there we can hit the crowds at every municipal event, and gradually ease citizens into our inebriation indoctrination. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day (though a bunch of drunken Visigoths came pretty close to unbuilding it on August 24, 410 – productivity clearly picks up when people are properly lubricated).
So I say, thank you Taco Bell Cantina. You’ve taken a first step forward that inspires the rest of us to follow you into alcoholism — and beyond.
(Editor’s note: The Dalhousie Gazette wishes to make it very clear that we do not endorse these suggestions or, necessarily, Taco Bell Cantina.)