Argument for Lowering the Drinking Age to 18 in the United States | Teen Ink

Argument for Lowering the Drinking Age to 18 in the United States

January 13, 2011
By M.Young SILVER, Santa Cruz, California
M.Young SILVER, Santa Cruz, California
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

After people in the United States reached the age 18 they are no longer considered juvenile. They have the right to choose their political leaders, purchase certain firearms and ammunition, and even enlist in the military. They are considered legally independent adults. However, they are denied a very simple right: the right to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. A twenty year old man can go legally kill people or be killed for his country, but he would be denied the right to have a beer with his dinner.

These lack of rights make people under 21 second-class citizens. They are not immature children, they are grown adults that can make decisions for themselves. Many of these legally defined “children” are the soldiers that die for America. It is a legal hypocrisy; adults are not able to assume their full rights. The consumption of alcohol is not the issue as much as the fact that the hypocritical aegism in the legal system that denies adults fundamental rights. I'm sure the African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement did not mind drinking out of a different water fountain. They demanded change because they were seen as second-class citizens. The denial of basic rights is absurd. These adults want to be treated as they should be treated.

The purpose of having the legal drinking age at 21 is supposedly to protect children from the negative effects of alcohol. However, having the drinking age so high has the opposite effect on teens. Not having alcohol normal and easily accessible has made teens tend to drink more excessively when they have the chance. Binge drinking is very dangerous and it can lead to severe complications, which means death in many cases. Moderate consumption of alcohol can be healthy, both physically and psychologically. Making alcohol illegal for people under 21 only makes it more likely that teens will drink irresponsibly.

The efforts to reduce the adverse effects of drinking for teens by making the drinking age 21 have failed. It is ineffective and only causes more problems. In addition, having a drinking age higher than the age where people assume many other important rights is ridiculous. People between the ages 18 and 21 are considered second-class citizens because of their age. These adults are responsible for their own actions; they are legally adults in almost every other instance. This discrimination should not be tolerated.

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