Emily Owens, who studies criminology and economics at the University of California, Irvine, points to the balancing act that many countries try to strike. “Alcohol is something that people enjoy drinking. It’s pleasant. We get utility out of alcohol consumption. But at a certain point, alcohol consumption really is problematic for society.” She believes that higher taxes and making alcohol pricier would allow people who really want to drink the ability to do so legally, but “maybe discourage people on the margin from consuming as much as they might currently choose to”.