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Matthew Weekes

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Alcohol in the united states creating a temporary group of second class citizens?

In the US, while one may vote upon their 18th birthday, that same body may not drink alchohol.
This creates a group of second class citizens and while you won't be in the category for every, that category will always exist.
Should we make laws like switzerland that let you drink beer at 16 and hard liquor at 18?
Is our culture ready?

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  • Apr 23 2011: Weekes, maybe labeling it as creating second class citizens exaggerates the issue, but I agree that the law is not effective.

    To the older folks who agree with the law, its hurting the youth, not helping. The argument that it saves our brain cells for a few extra years, is generally not true. Just because the law says people under 21 can not drink alcohol, doesn't mean it will actually stop anyone who WANTS to drink.

    Studying abroad in Rome really opened up my eyes to American drinking behaviors. We would get super drunk, loud, and belligerent. It got pretty embarassing sometimes, because italians (not jersey shore Italians, like actually italians) are not that way at all. They drink of course, but they've been brought up in a culture were their taught from an early age to drink in moderation.

    Their drinking age is 16, they're all generally smart, and they don't have a widespread alcohol epidemic among the youth.
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      Apr 24 2011: Hi Michael, There are many cultures where children are allowed to drink and yet the rates of alcoholism and alcohol consumption are epidemic. Arguing for a change in societal laws does not make the alternative superior. I agree that many people will drink regardless of the law and I think that laws are there for the most part to indicate that caution is needed. Not everyone will be vulnerable to alcoholism but the culture can either encourage or disuade certain onsets. In North America- the culture of drinking for young adults has nothing whatsoever to do with the law because young people are choosing for themselves to conform to norms of their own peer groups.
      • Apr 24 2011: right, i don't think changing the law will change our culture. What you said is true, but I still think it is hurting us rather than helping (I am of legal drinking age btw). I just feel that making it a higher age, when the rest of the drinking world is at a lower age, makes it like a "forbidden fruit" and come on, who doesn't like forbidden fruit?

        I really don't know of a solution to fix america's young alcoholics, its so deeply rooted, but I think having harsh laws only irritate us and make the situation worse.

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