Once, a long time ago, I think I was right

August 19, 2008

Johns Hopkins UniversityImage via Wikipedia

When I was an 18 year old college student writing for the campus paper, the federal government bullied all the states into making 21 the legal drinking age.  It went something like this: Do what we say, or we will take away your federal highway funds.  We all know who won that power play.

Impassioned as I was by this new legislation, I used my weekly column as a venue to voice my incredulity.  Now, for the record, I remember very little of what I wrote for the Tacoma Community College paper.  Most of it was, I am sure, drivel.  But I remember the closing line from this particular column.

Raising the drinking age to 21 does not keep 19 year olds from drinking.  It just takes them out of the bars and makes them criminals.

Now, a group of college presidents has gone on record saying the current legal age does more harm than good.

Top university officials in Maryland – including the chancellor of the state university system and the president of the Johns Hopkins University – say the current drinking age of 21 “is not working” and has led to dangerous binges in which students have harmed themselves and others.

Six college presidents in Maryland are among more than 100 college and university presidents nationwide who have signed a statement calling for a public debate on rethinking the drinking age.

“Kids are going to drink whether it’s legal or illegal,” said Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody, who supports lowering the drinking age to 18. “We’d at least be able to have a more open dialogue with students about drinking as opposed to this sham where people don’t want to talk about it because it’s a violation of the law.”

The presidents of the University of Maryland, College Park; Towson University; the College of Notre Dame of Maryland; Goucher College; Washington College and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute signed the statement, along with the presidents of Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State University.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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3 Responses to “Once, a long time ago, I think I was right”

  1. kim Says:

    I have said this for ever and a day…it should be 18…i could go on and on about my points…but we agree:) Now why couldn’t every other govt official be as smart minded as us…I always say…no kid ever waits till they are 21, but they do wait (generally) to drive…raise the driving age to 18 and lower the drinking age…

    you picked my most favorite subject to debate with…I’m always shocked from those parents who think that if the legal age is 21, their kids won’t drink…hahahahahha (i try not to laugh outloud, that would be rude;)

    Take care, did you see I got a subscribe button, it was easy to install, but now what, will I know when people subscribe?


  2. I was 19 when I had my first drink. I felt that I did it completely responsibly.

    Of course, as soon as you tell all the 18 years olds that they can buy alcohol legally – it’ll get worse before it straightens itself out.


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