Drinking Lessons

 

I was a scofflaw. In my state it is against the law to provide alcohol to any person who is under age 21. When my sons were underage, I broke this law on a few occasions. Neither of them ever embraced the binge-drinking culture when they went to college. Teach your kids how to drink.

I saw a story featured in the Google News “spotlight.” It was an article from CNN, a few months ago, titled “Is Drinking with your Kids at Home a Good Idea?” I say, yes it is a very good idea. Your kids need good role models. They need to see that adults can enjoy one drink or two drinks and then stop. They need to learn how to enjoy one drink and then stop.

Modern American youth culture wants to teach them that, when you drink, you are drinking to get drunk. It is all over social media, TV, movies, pop songs, etc. Drunkenness is a laughing matter. Often it is an excuse for bad behavior, such as casual sex, which is frequently blamed on alcohol.

It is a bad idea to let your kids learn about adult beverages from their friends. If that is how they learn to drink, then what they will learn is binge-drinking.

Political Legacy of Teetotalism

I live in the Bible Belt, which may be described as “Baptist World.” Where I live, well over 70 percent of households show up for a worship service at least once per month, so that is much higher than national averages. The largest denomination is Southern Baptist, with other Baptists, and also a number of “Non-denominational” churches that are best described as “Baptist lite.”

Our politics is thoroughly Baptist. One thing we discarded relatively recently is our “blue laws,” which were originally developed back when my state was even more Christian and was evenly more strongly influenced by conservative Baptists. Methodists also used to be strong around here, and they were teetotalers. Tennessee went for Prohibition, and most counties were “dry” up until the 1970s and 1980s. (We still retain some vestigial blue laws, but they are a very pale shadow of what was in force when Prohibition ended.)

But Tennessee also always had a strong strain of drinkers who were inclined to moonshine and a scofflaw attitude. It was an unfortunate culture in which drinking was a taboo and, when indulged, it led to ruin. I find our college binge-drinking culture related to the illicit roadhouses of my youth.

Drinking Heritage

I was always perplexed by that, because my family was strongly influenced by my father’s German Lutheran heritage. We would go to church functions and there would be beer.  When we were kids we could have a taste or a small cup. Nobody got drunk unless after most of the guests left, a couple of families stayed behind to help hosts clean up, and then lingered for a few more drinks. I saw a lot of drinking compared to my school friends, but I only witnessed drunkenness on two or three occasions. I did not associate drinking with drunkenness.

There is a very old joke that still gets told.

You can take a Baptist fishing with you, but you don’t want to take two Baptists.

(That is because one Baptist by himself will drink beer with you, but if two Baptists are along, they won’t drink alcohol in front of each other. The joke was so common that the punchline was seldom uttered out loud.)

The same thing was told of Methodists. (In contrast, the Episcopalians were called “Whisky-palians.”  They were typically few in number, comparatively more well-to-do, and, though they were more influential, they generally did not rock the dry boat.)

When I got to college I saw lots of Baptist and Methodist kids go wild with weekend binge drinking. They had no acquaintance with alcoholic beverages until they gained access to them and were away from home and in a student culture that encouraged drunkenness. This seemed to be less of a problem for Lutheran and Catholic kids, but many of them tried hard to catch up to their friends’ drinking.

Things seem to be worse on campus now than they were 40 years ago.

Drinking Age and Federal Coercion

This whole thing was brought to mind by a column that appeared recently at National Review. It was by Jake Curtis, and it was about federal government coercion of the states. The focus of the article was about the case that upheld the drinking age. In the 1980s, a version of the Surface Transportation Act was passed that included a provision that said that five percent of a state’s federal transportation funds would be withheld from states that kept their drinking age below age 21. It was upheld by the Supreme Court.

It came about because of a campaign by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who had mobilized an incredible amount of political capital over the issue of alcohol-related fatalities in automobile crashes. They were right, but the remedy they chose has consequences.

Consider that the “federal funds” in question are gas tax funds that were paid in the state; the federal government collects it all, skims some off the top, and then returns the rest with strings attached. The threat of holding out transportation funds was a big enough stick to get half the states to raise their drinking age (the other states had already raised their drinking age).

I am concerned enough about the number of people who get killed in traffic crashes to favor the DUI/ DWI laws. That is one of the issues where us Social Conservatives oppose the Libertarians.

But the way the feds coerced the states over the drinking age is still reverberating through such unrelated matters as Medicare.

The conservatives who opposed Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act were right. It should have been done through a constitutional amendment. If we had a Transportation Amendment it probably would not have supported the coercion that the Court upheld over the drinking age. Likewise we should have an Education Amendment, a Labor Amendment, and a half-dozen other amendments, if our founding document were to actually keep up with our current national practices. Those debates would be constructive; I wish we would have them.

Drinking Lessons

I would like to lobby my state to make a change to our drinking law. I want parents to have the right to serve alcoholic beverages to their own children in the privacy of their own homes. But my state legislators would be foolish to listen to me. Big Government won’t allow any dissent.

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  1. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Jake Curtis’s column about federal coercion of the states over the drinking age, June 2017 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448883/south-dakota-v-dole-turns-30-when-court-approved-federal-coercion

    The above column attributes much to the article’s factual content to this article that focuses on a sterling dissent by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This link is directly to the .pdf:

    http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Resist-FInal.pdf

     

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  2. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Pardon me for the longwinded meandering post. Sometimes you just need to share something that bugs you.  Because it is summer and we are trying to cover for vacationing members, I ended up with the high school kids in Sunday School, instead of my usual group of middle schoolers.  We talked about binge drinking for a few minutes.  I hope that just a little bit of self-awareness will help these kids avoid some dangerous situations.

    I did an internet search for “drinking lessons.” Most of the hits were cocktail recipies.  There was one useful hit, and it is from 2002.  Nothing has improved since then.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/wellness/2002/04/16/drinking-lessons/d3ce504b-a4c8-4003-837a-52167c2fdb01/?utm_term=.5ea0784107ca

    Here is another internet search that shows just how little progress there is for a problem that is well-known and documented.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=binge+drinking+culture&spf=1499621621680

     

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  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Another terrific MJ post. He’s right; I think it’s a case of a genuinely well meaning law (no drinking till 21) that’s become counterproductive. Life is full of trade-offs, and some of them have to be tried out before their flaws become obvious.

    I did the same thing with my son. As he approached 17, I knew damn well that some of his friends were starting to drink. I sat him down and shared a glass or two, taking the mystery and the illicit thrill out of it and tried to frame it as a small reward for a day of well done work. Something you earn, even if you’re the only one keeping track.

    And looking ahead a few years, I opined to him that girls are quick to judge men based on their ability not to make utter jerks of themselves. Better to come across as The Most Interesting Man in the World, than like the dumb guy who never knows when to say when, and ends up throwing up on his shoes.

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  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    MJBubba: I would like to lobby my state to make a change to our drinking law. I want parents to have the right to serve alcoholic beverages to their own children in the privacy of their own homes. But my state legislators would be foolish to listen to me. Big Government won’t allow any dissent.

    Interesting.  I wasn’t aware of any states where this wasn’t already true.  Certainly true in Maine where I grew up (Catholic, so yes, beer and more with family while still a minor) and here in Georgia where I’ve raised my children the same.

    • #4
  5. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    MJBubba: I would like to lobby my state to make a change to our drinking law. I want parents to have the right to serve alcoholic beverages to their own children in the privacy of their own homes. But my state legislators would be foolish to listen to me. Big Government won’t allow any dissent.

    I agree, MJB. I’d like to have the drinking age return to 18. If they want to prevent drunk driving (big fan of this, by the way)  raise the driving age to 18. After all, young people who drive have plenty of accidents without alcohol—texting, for instance, and playing dumb tricks (“hey, let’s see if we can get this car to go airborne!”)

    When I was in college, there was a college pub where both students and faculty would stop in for a beer. Students earned money working as bartenders and waitstaff. The adults both demonstrated responsible drinking, and monitored the young. Now, college kids still drink, but they can’t drink in front of the adults because the adults would then be criminally liable for failing to prevent unlawful behavior. So they drink in frat houses, and binge because they aren’t going to get the chance to do this again for a week. The college administrators and even the campus police pretend not to know how much illegal alcohol is being transported and consumed and fail to arrest and prosecute drunk kids for possession-by-intoxication because the parents wouldn’t be pleased if Junior graduated with a criminal history as well as a degree in Gender Studies.

    Meanwhile, the local bars that used to extract considerable revenue from their proximity to colleges are faced with the tedious problem of checking I.D.s and refusing service. One big reason for the decline of dance clubs is that young people—most apt to want to go out dancing– can’t drink in them. Of course, they can take ecstasy or drop acid—-much easier to conceal and transport, and I guess this sort of contributes to the local economy, but not in ways that we would generally consider positive.

     

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  6. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    anonymous (View Comment):

    The general view is that if you’re old enough to carry a weapon to defend the confederation (voluntary enlistment from 18, compulsory militia service for males from 19), you’re old enough to buy whatever you wish to drink.

    Totally agree. The 21 year-old age limit is absolutely preposterous.

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  7. MBF Member
    MBF
    @MBF

    There is no drinking age in Wisconsin for minors accompanied by parents/guardians. Bars and restaurants of course have the right to refuse service, but it is perfectly legal for a high schooler to have a pint with his fish fry on a Friday night out with mom and dad.

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  8. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I think part of the drinking age change was the difference between states. When I was 15 and my friends were 16 we would go to WV where the age was 18 vs 21 in PA. It was only 25 miles. Great trip there , back was a different story. Later in college in PA we went to NY 50 miles away. Same result. It should have been lowered to 18 everywhere. Lots of 18 year olds killed in Vietnam.

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  9. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    One thing I would add is that when you have any kind of prohibition, especially with zero tolerance, you indirectly encourage binge drinking because if you’re already going to be in trouble if you get caught you might as well go all out with it.

    • #9
  10. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I agree, MJB. I’d like to have the drinking age return to 18. If they want to prevent drunk driving (big fan of this, by the way) raise the driving age to 18. After all, young people who drive have plenty of accidents without alcohol—texting, for instance, and playing dumb tricks (“hey, let’s see if we can get this car to go airborne!”)

    Uhm, no.  Not a good idea.  Accidents are more correlated with years of driving experience than age, at least for the first few years.  You really want young adults to get in those years of experience while still minors, so parents still have actual leverage over their behaviour.  For exactly the same reason we want our children raised with modest consumption of alcohol while still minors.

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  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MJBubba:But the way the feds coerced the states over the drinking age is still reverberating through such unrelated matters as Medicare.

    ?

    The conservatives who opposed Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway Act were right. It should have been done through a constitutional amendment.

    I didn’t know this had been a controversy. I thought everybody loved the federal interstate highway system; therefore, we should let the federal government control everything.

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  12. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    MJBubba: But Tennessee also always had a strong strain of drinkers who were inclined to moonshine and a scofflaw attitude. It was an unfortunate culture in which drinking was a taboo and, when indulged, it led to ruin.

    And NASCAR!

    • #12
  13. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    MBF (View Comment):
    There is no drinking age in Wisconsin for minors accompanied by parents/guardians. Bars and restaurants of course have the right to refuse service, but it is perfectly legal for a high schooler to have a pint with his fish fry on a Friday night out with mom and dad.

    I loved that law when I lived there. My kids would get the occasional beer or glass of wine with a family dinner.  As a consequence did not go nuts in college with the drinking.

    We were in the North End in Boston when my son was about 13, and had dinner in a small Italian restaurant.  We ordered wine for the adults, and the waiter asked if we wanted a glass for my son, we said, “well he’s thirteen”. The waiter an older Italian gentleman looked him over and said ‘ he’s a big boy, he should have a glass”.  I thought my son would bust he was so proud.

    • #13
  14. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Unbeknownst to me, but to my delight when I learned of it later, my oldest son showed his 18-year-old sister exactly how much she could drink before getting silly so she would know her capacity. Older brothers are a good thing.

    Why kids, or anyone, binge drinks is a complicated business.  Many years ago when this was beginning to be noticed, I heard interviews with two male students at Syracuse University.  A black student claimed that this did not go on at the parties he attended, where students were too busy dancing.  A white student said there was very little dancing at the parties he went to and that he drank in order to become more comfortable walking into a room full of strangers.  I sometimes wonder whether young people know how to have fun anymore without alcohol and drugs.

    I think, too, that American college students are put into a strange and unrealistic situation: no parents or young children  or extended family, i.e., no one who knows them, very little responsibility, generally lots of time, insufficient sleep, lots of temptation.  It’s amazing so many survive.

    • #14
  15. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Sandy (View Comment):
    Why kids, or anyone, binge drinks is a complicated business.

    Part of that depends on what your definition of binge drinking is. I read the CDC definition once as five drinks in less than two hours, which don’t consider particularly excessive.

    A white student said there was very little dancing at the parties he went to and that he drank in order to become more comfortable walking into a room full of strangers.

    I’ve also done that. Part of it is that it can serve as an icebreaker. I never smoked but sometimes considered starting so I could go out and talk to people on smoke breaks.

    I sometimes wonder whether young people know how to have fun anymore without alcohol and drugs.

    I’m not quite sure how this is meant, but going by my own experience that skill has been lost for at least one generation, perhaps two.

     

    • #15
  16. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I agree, MJB. I’d like to have the drinking age return to 18. If they want to prevent drunk driving (big fan of this, by the way) raise the driving age to 18. After all, young people who drive have plenty of accidents without alcohol—texting, for instance, and playing dumb tricks (“hey, let’s see if we can get this car to go airborne!”)

    Uhm, no. Not a good idea. Accidents are more correlated with years of driving experience than age, at least for the first few years. You really want young adults to get in those years of experience while still minors, so parents still have actual leverage over their behaviour. For exactly the same reason we want our children raised with modest consumption of alcohol while still minors.

    Yes.  Whether a new driver is 16 or 46 years old when they first start to drive, statistics say it will take about two years of driving experience before they get to a point where their crash expectation can be said to be average.

    • #16
  17. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    MJBubba (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I agree, MJB. I’d like to have the drinking age return to 18. If they want to prevent drunk driving (big fan of this, by the way) raise the driving age to 18. After all, young people who drive have plenty of accidents without alcohol—texting, for instance, and playing dumb tricks (“hey, let’s see if we can get this car to go airborne!”)

    Uhm, no. Not a good idea. Accidents are more correlated with years of driving experience than age, at least for the first few years. You really want young adults to get in those years of experience while still minors, so parents still have actual leverage over their behaviour. For exactly the same reason we want our children raised with modest consumption of alcohol while still minors.

    Yes. Whether a new driver is 16 or 46 years old when they first start to drive, statistics say it will take about two years of driving experience before they get to a point where their crash expectation can be said to be average.

    Okay—I know here in Maine there are a lot of graduated restrictions—whether you can drive with unrelated other kids in the car, for example, or drive at night.

    My Brazilian exchange student told us that in Brazil, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is zero.

    Zero.

    This seemed like a good idea. Simple and idiot-proof.

    • #17
  18. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    I sometimes wonder whether young people know how to have fun anymore without alcohol and drugs.

    I’m not quite sure how this is meant, but going by my own experience that skill has been lost for at least one generation, perhaps two.

    I thought that’s what video games were for.

    • #18
  19. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):

    I sometimes wonder whether young people know how to have fun anymore without alcohol and drugs.

    I’m not quite sure how this is meant, but going by my own experience that skill has been lost for at least one generation, perhaps two.

    I thought that’s what video games were for.

    If I grant that point, then it’s probably more true now that young people have fun without alcohol and drugs. Or maybe not.

    What I do know is that a considerable amount of the stories I’ve heard from or about my parents and their siblings and friends involve (excessive amounts of) alcohol.

    • #19
  20. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Meanwhile, the local bars that used to extract considerable revenue from their proximity to colleges are faced with the tedious problem of checking I.D.s and refusing service. One big reason for the decline of dance clubs is that young people—most apt to want to go out dancing– can’t drink in them. Of course, they can take ecstasy or drop acid—-much easier to conceal and transport, and I guess this sort of contributes to the local economy, but not in ways that we would generally consider positive.

    Yeah I thought it rather odd that when I was a student at Berkeley it was easier to get pot than beer.  The bars and liquor stores near campus all had strict ID policies, and lived in fear of losing their liquor license if the police ever once caught them selling to underage customers.  Meanwhile, while walking down Telegraph Ave strangers would approach me mumbling “greenbuds,” as the city of Berkeley has an official policy making enforcement of the marijuana laws the lowest priority of their police department.

    If someone had the gall to stand on Telegraph selling bottles of beer to passing students, no doubt they’d arrest him and throw the book at him, but pot dealers?  Shrug, look the other way…

     

    • #20
  21. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    If I grant that point, then it’s probably more true now that young people have fun without alcohol and drugs. Or maybe not.

    When I was in high school and college I spent a lot of Friday and Saturday nights playing video games, sometimes alone, sometimes with a small group of friends.  We had some epic Goldeneye tournaments, we definitely had fun, and became close friends — but I think we were missing out on opportunities to go out, meet new people, build social skills, and especially meet and learn how to interact with the opposite sex.

    When I did venture out to a few parties in college, I encountered the binge drinking culture, which repulsed me, so I soon gave up and spent my Friday nights either studying or playing video games (or binge watching Twin Peaks).  I had fun, but I wish I’d had more opportunities to socialize that did not involve heavy drinking.

    • #21
  22. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    When I did venture out to a few parties in college, I encountered the binge drinking culture, which repulsed me, so I soon gave up and spent my Friday nights either studying or playing video games (or binge watching Twin Peaks). I had fun, but I wish I’d had more opportunities to socialize that did not involve heavy drinking.

    I think how I would put it is it isn’t heavy drinking I mind, it’s drinking specifically to get drunk. Most of the parties I go to, there tends to be a lot of drinking, but it’s just a side effect.

    • #22
  23. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert
    1. A legal drinking age of 21, for the public, is as low as it should go.  I grew into adulthood when the age was 18.  I can assure you that 18 year olds are MUCH less responsible than 21 year olds at knowing how to drink in a bar and then not drive.  The carnage of 18-20 year olds in 1974-1978 was real and horrible.
    2. In my home, I initiate responsible drinking around 16.  The kids differ in their willingness to defy what they learn at school, but any time I have  a beer or a glass of wine, I offer a sip.  This has worked splendidly.  I have three adult children aged 32, 28 and 23 with nary a drinking problem nor a DUI citation among them. One of them is even an award-winning professional brewer.  My 16 year old is very wary about touching wine or beer at home but she will take the odd taste of a vodka drink.  She turns up her nose most times.  My 27 year old stepdaughter was raised similarly and has no issues with drinking.  We even took a beer-brewer’s tour of Belgium a few years ago which included grabbing four cases of the fabled Westvletern ales.
    3. Raising your kids to drink responsibly is a favor to all involved, including society.
    4.  
    • #23
  24. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    I think how I would put it is it isn’t heavy drinking I mind, it’s drinking specifically to get drunk.

    Yes, agreed.  My senior year I worked in a lab with some grad students who introduced me to craft beer, they took me to a local brewery (I was 21 by this point so I could actually get in) and ordered some pitchers and appetizers and sat around talking and actually enjoying the flavor of good beer.  That I enjoyed — worlds apart from ordering kegs of the cheapest beer available and engaging in macho competitions to see who can drink the most the quickest.

    • #24
  25. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    My Brazilian exchange student told us that in Brazil, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is zero.

    Zero.

    This seemed like a good idea. Simple and idiot-proof.

    That seems like a really bad idea to me.  I would prefer that the law not treat us like a bunch of idiots.  And I wonder what the compliance rate is in Brazil?  I’d be pretty surprised if practically no one drives home after having a single drink.

    • #25
  26. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    That seems like a really bad idea to me. I would prefer that the law not treat us like a bunch of idiots.

    Hear hear!  I assure you I can drink a glass of wine or two with dinner and still be a better, safer driver than half the idiots on the road these days cold sober.

    • #26
  27. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    I think how I would put it is it isn’t heavy drinking I mind, it’s drinking specifically to get drunk.

    Yes, agreed. My senior year I worked in a lab with some grad students who introduced me to craft beer, they took me to a local brewery (I was 21 by this point so I could actually get in) and ordered some pitchers and appetizers and sat around talking and actually enjoying the flavor of good beer. That I enjoyed — worlds apart from ordering kegs of the cheapest beer available and engaging in macho competitions to see who can drink the most the quickest.

    I can do both, but I’m not much for drinking fast. When I drink cheap beer, it’s more of a marathon, not a sprint.

    • #27
  28. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Very good article, MJ.  I would favor my state going back to age 19, but if the majority of Minnesotans disagree with me so be it.  It’s the federal coercion that grinds my gears.  Under federal law medical marijuana is illegal, but about half the states have defied the federal government and allow it.  I’m fine with that.  I don’t know why every state says “Yes, Master” when the federal government commands them to raise their drinking age or lower their BAC definition of drunk driving.  Yes, I understand the penalty of losing some portion of the highway money, but you would think at least a couple of independent minded states (Hello, Texas?) would tell Uncle Sam to jump in a lake (or something more colorful) and raise their gas tax by a penny or two to make up the difference.  Is our freedom worth so little that you will let the federal government boss your state around to save a lousy quarter or so per fill-up?

    • #28
  29. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Very good article, MJ. I would favor my state going back to age 19, but if the majority of Minnesotans disagree with me so be it. It’s the federal coercion that grinds my gears. Under federal law medical marijuana is illegal, but about half the states have defied the federal government and allow it. I’m fine with that. I don’t know why every state says “Yes, Master” when the federal government commands them to raise their drinking age or lower their BAC definition of drunk driving. Yes, I understand the penalty of losing some portion of the highway money, but you would think at least a couple of independent minded states (Hello, Texas?) would tell Uncle Sam to jump in a lake (or something more colorful) and raise their gas tax by a penny or two to make up the difference. Is our freedom worth so little that you will let the federal government boss your state around to save a lousy quarter or so per fill-up?

    If it were me I’d keep the laws the same and just not enforce them.

    • #29
  30. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    A legal drinking age of 21, for the public, is as low as it should go. I grew into adulthood when the age was 18. I can assure you that 18 year olds are MUCH less responsible than 21 year olds at knowing how to drink in a bar and then not drive. The carnage of 18-20 year olds in 1974-1978 was real and horrible.

    It depends where you live, when I was in college I didn’t even own a car, I walked to class or rode a bike.  Even after graduation I took public transit to work, so when I went out to a bar with my colleagues on Friday evening, as long as I was sober enough to walk to the nearest BART station, I could still get myself home safely.

    Sure maybe in a rural county a drinking age of 21 makes sense, but in urban areas we have public transit, cabs, and Uber.  Why do we need a uniform limit nationwide?

     

    • #30

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