Should The Drinking Age Be Lowered to 18?

It’s nice to have extremely strong feelings on a subject you have no opinion on.

For example, for reasons known but to blog people, I am frequently asked whether I think the drinking age should be lowered to eighteen.  Why ask me? Simply because under the pretense of knowledge I write about alcohol—a subject which creates headlines, changes futures, alters fortunes and affects countless lives for better or worse?

Geez, I dunno.  At eighteen, I made decisions that benefitted only the Friend of the Court and bail bondspeople, and if today’s average punk thinks like I did, he should probably not be making post-midnight 7-11 pit stops.  At the same time, Dakota Fanning strikes me as a well-grounded young lady that could probably handle the odd martini.   I’ve seen the Nuremburg trials, and every time the prosecution speaks, I think gallows, and when Joachim von Ribbentrop’s counsel chimes in, it’s like, hey, lighten up, planet, everybody works for somebody.

So I’m clearly not the guy to ask.  But as long as I am asked, I will continue to soapbox with wishy-washy eloquence and indecisive gusto on what I think I think:

If an eighteen year old can take a bullet for his/her country, he/she should be able to take a shot with his/her friends: I’ll go one better.  No eighteen-year-old he/she should be taking bullets for anybody, they should all make nice and sip mint juleps on the veranda.

If you make drinking booze a crime for those under twenty-one, only criminals under twenty-one will drink booze: True dat, and no need for further embellishment.

China allows eighteen year olds to drink: The Chinese are rocketing ahead of us in every important aspect of international commerce like direct investment, GDP surpluses, population control via baby formula, chopstick exporting and leaded plastic Barney toy manufacture—so why should we let them increase the trade gap by allowing them three extra years to market alcohol to young people?   And anyway, isn’t continuing to permit such an economic imbalance a tacit admission that the Communists have already won?

We tried prohibition legislation to control irresponsible drinking during the 1920’s.: The result?  Al Capone and Bugs Moran.  People going blind from drinking bathtub gin.  The Great Depression. Silly shows like The Untouchables which are still in reruns.

An 18 year old has the right to get married, but not to drink at his/her wedding:  I’m on the fence with this one; only copious quantites of alcohol, legal or otherwise, would cause rational young people to consider marriage in the first place.

As long as it remains illegal, 18-year-olds will always view alcohol as ‘forbidden fruit’ and consume it anyway as a badge of rebellion against authority:  The only fruit that should be forbidden is stuff imported from China because it might contain lead or melamine.  And if the badge of rebellion is removed from alcohol teenagers will simply make do with Ghostface Killa and texting naked pictures of themselves.

Flaunting of the current laws is readily seen among university students and cannot be effectively controlled:  Like Bluto suggested, college students should be able to do anything they want.  Because they’re college students.

In Detroit, anyway, kids will stop driving to Canada to drink:  In Canada, the drinking age is 19, which makes even less sense that eighteen or twenty-one, but that’s between the Canadian people and whoever’s been in charge up there since that guy whose wife didn’t wear panties.  The more pressing question is why our good, all-American binge-drinking dollars should  be funneled across the Ambassador Bridge to those eh-saying syrup-slurpers—hardly a nation in need of more drinkers.

Note to Canada:  You don’t want to deal with our acid rain, don’t expect our Molson money.

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