Vying to become the biggest drug dealer in Ilam

Press Release – Dr Doug Sellman

MEDIA RELEASE – 6/12/11 – embargoed until 1pm New World Supermarket manager vying to become the biggest drug dealer in Ilam A public hearing of the Liquor Licensing Authority is being held in Christchurch today to consider an application by Blackburn …
MEDIA RELEASE – 6/12/11 – embargoed until 1pm

New World Supermarket manager vying to become the biggest drug dealer in Ilam

A public hearing of the Liquor Licensing Authority is being held in Christchurch today to consider an application by Blackburn Retail Holdings Limited for a liquor licence at a new supermarket in Ilam.

“If this licence is granted, it would likely create the biggest liquor outlet in Ilam so far,” said Professor Doug Sellman a local citizen of Ilam, as well as Director of the National Addiction Centre, University of Otago, Christchurch and one of the medical spokespeople for Alcohol Action NZ.

“Ilam is a community with a long history of suffering alcohol damage, and given that alcohol is a Class B equivalent drug, a new liquor licence would therefore elevate the new manager, Mr Phil Blackburn, to being the biggest drug dealer in Ilam.”

Professor Doug Sellman, argues that this new supermarket should not be granted a liquor licence on two main grounds:

“Firstly, to do so would increase the availability of alcohol in the Ilam community, especially to several University Halls of Residence which are only a stone’s throw from the new supermarket, thereby virtually guaranteeing an increase in alcohol harm to the community and so contravening the main object of the Sale of Liquor Act, which is to reduce liquor abuse” he said.

“Secondly, the application by Mr Phil Blackburn contains no mention of the true nature of alcohol being a Class B equivalent drug and no acknowledgement of the enormous degree of damage that alcohol is already causing the Ilam community necessitating the Council to establish a permanent liquor ban in the area.”

“The application therefore is reflecting a naïve and dissociated attitude about the nature of his intended alcohol business and therefore casts serious doubt over whether he is a “fit and proper person” to hold such a licence.”

“But further, if indeed Mr Blackburn knows about the nature of alcohol and its harms and yet chooses to appear naïve and dissociated in his application, while at the same time is gearing up with top lawyers at his side to fight in Court for the right to pour enormous volumes of new alcohol into the Ilam community, very serious doubt emerges about his suitability to hold a liquor licence for a mega-liquor-store, which is what a New World supermarket is.”

“Alcohol is by far the biggest item sold in supermarkets in New Zealand, with recent figures showing that beer tops the list of all products ahead of bread and milk, white wine comes in at number four, and red wine, sparkling wine and other wine feature a little further down the list.”

“Although disguised as a large family-friendly grocery store, supermarkets are in fact primarily mega-liquor stores which also sell grocery items”.

“New World supermarkets have been shown to be the biggest advertisers of alcohol in the four main daily newspapers in New Zealand, which indicates they are probably the single biggest drug dealers in New Zealand.”

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