Skip to main content

College Presidents Call for Debate on Lowering the Drinking Age

Submitted by smorgan on
It's encouraging to see prominent educators take a stand for more sensible drug policies:

As college students gear up for annual back-to-school parties, a group of university and college presidents in California and across the country this week pushed for a national debate over whether the drinking age should be lowered from 21 to 18.

The current limit ignores the reality of drinking during college years and drives it underground, making binge drinking more dangerous and students less likely to seek help in an emergency, according to a petition signed by more than 100 campus presidents. Though they don't call for an outright age rollback, the campus chiefs said they support "an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21-year-old drinking age." [LA Times]

The drug czar's office went code red, of course, and was probably more than a little displeased at having to respond to a bunch of respected college presidents who couldn't be ignored or accused of being pro-drug. With the help of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, they've compiled a list of emphatic counterpoints most of which, if true, would compel us to ban alcohol entirely for everyone. My favorite is that, "all underage drinking is unsafe drinking."

And isn't that just precisely the point here? Kids are getting bombed surreptitiously in dormrooms across America. They're being ushered into the drinking culture by the drunkest people on earth. And they're afraid to ask for help in an emergency because well-meaning morons have criminalized their behavior instead of supervising it.

Of course, beyond the practical problems with the 21 drinking age, I'm still a big fan of the old cliché that if you're old enough to fight and die for your country, you're old enough to drink a beer. That argument should've worked a long time ago, but I guess I've been fighting for drug policy reform long enough to know that being right doesn't mean politicians will do what you propose.

So instead, every American between the ages of 18 and 20 should refuse to serve in the armed forces until this is addressed, lest they should find themselves fighting in defense of a freedom they may not live long enough to taste.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.