The Oglala Sioux elders have filed a lawsuit in the district court of Nebraska, targetting Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors LLC, and Pabst Brewing Company. The Oglala Sioux Tribe are asking for $500m for healthcare, social services and child rehabilitation.
The lawsuit also names the nearby town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, which has four beer shops that sold nearly five million beer cans in 2010 despite having only about a dozen residents.
Alcohol is outlawed in the reservation, but one out of four children suffers from foetal alcohol syndrome... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16976700
As laughable as the lawsuit can seem, if you believe in free will and the ability of self control, there is a structural problem underneath.
Today it seems clear that there is a strong genetic factor behind alcoholism. Twin studies and studies of adopted children have confirmed this. There is also an interesting pattern when you look at the prevalence of alcoholism in different regions. In the areas that first started to produce and consume alcoholic beverages, and where it has been around for thousands of years, ie the Mediterranean area and the Middle East, alcoholism is pretty rare. I've heard a number suggesting 2-3% of the population. In areas where alcohol has been present for centuries, but not quite as long as the previous group, eg in Northern Europe, the prevelance of alcoholism is much higher, some where around 10%. And then when you look at "first nations", aboriginal groups that have only had access to alcohol for perhaps a century or so, you see some groups that have a 40-50% alcoholism rate. It can also be noted that drinking used to be far worse in Scandinavia in the 17th through 19th century.
There is a theory that this is because the longer alcohol has been present, the stronger the Darwinian impact has been. Alcoholics are less likely to form stable families and raise children that do well, and over time this means they have relatively less offspring than those who do not have the genetic predisposition for alcoholism. Now, if you have the gene, but never touch alcohol, there apparently is no serious down side to the gene, seeing as it is so common among people that have never encountered alcohol. But when a society like that gets access to alcohol - it's a disaster. And that is what has happened to many tribes/first nations in North America. The same thing can be seen in Australia and Greenland is just as bad, if not worse.
Since the tribal elders have done what they can to combat alcohol - banning it within the reservation, educating people, etc, I guess I can see some logic in them now wanting to sue those who keep providing the poison that makes their society rot from within.
A bit like the USA blaming Colombia for drug abuse in the USA.
It doesn't help to make it illegal when some one else keeps making sure their is easy access to it just the same.