MINIMUM pricing of alcohol has not been tried before, so no-one can say with any degree of certainty that it will work and reduce the harm caused by drinking.
The evidence used by the Government suggests it will see people drink less, but others claim it will not affect the most hazardous drinkers, for whom the issue is not price, but feeding an addiction.
However, what is not in any doubt, is that Scotland has a problem with alcohol which is a huge factor in crime, illness and mortality and action is needed to tackle it.
Minimum pricing has its flaws – those who can afford to drink themselves into an early grave because money is no object can continue to do so, moderate drinkers on low incomes will mostly have to pay more and it will give extra cash to brewers and shops for doing nothing.
Minimum pricing may or may not work, and as Nicola Sturgeon admits, it is not a silver bullet that will make all our problems disappear, but if it can cut deaths and lead to fewer young people becoming alcohol dependent then it should be given the chance to work.
If not the 'sunset clause' will allow it to be evaluated, assessed and if it needs altered it can be and equally if it should be abandoned then that should happen.