Letter to the Editor: Nips gotta go

To the Editor,

Phillipe and Jorge, who are right about almost everything else, completely blew it by beating up on Representative David Bennett’s bill banning nips in the March 2nd “Phillipe & Jorge: Tips for nips and soup Nazis.” https://motifri.com/phillipe-jorge-tips-for-nips-and-soup-nazis/
Banning nips is a good idea, and Rep Bennett is a hero for proposing his bill.
Rhode Island has serious big time issues with substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder.  We typically rank in the top 5 in the nation for drug and alcohol consumption of any and every drug that exists, including alcohol, which may help explain what usually goes on the the General Assembly and in the rest of government. But it also explains our way-too-many drug overdose and alcohol intoxication deaths. Nips exist for one reason only: so liquor store owners and wholesalers can profit off someone else’s misfortune. I don’t buy that business about discrimination against poor people for one second.  Nips exist to get poor people drunk. They contribute mightily to EMS transports for alcohol related issues, and are often associated with lots of littering.
When Chelsea MA banned nips in 2018, they saw EMS transports for alcohol-related issues drop by more than fifty percent, and their downtown littering issues improved significantly.
If all other things were equal, Rep Bennett’s bill would have passed unanimously ten years ago.  But they ain’t equal.  Alcohol retailers, middlemen and manufacturers know whose palm to grease.  Let them pay for all those EMS runs and cleaning up our cities instead of tax payers, if this bill should fail to pass.

Michael Fine