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View Full Version : Lowering the drinking age



Al Coholic
03-24-2009, 03:51 PM
Your thoughts on why or why not, and the effects it would bring about.

Thomas
03-24-2009, 03:57 PM
I'm against lowering the drinking age, personally, but I can see why some people would argue for it. I can only imagine lowering the drinking age making more people intoxicated on a regular basis than the current situation, and there are far too many drunk people out there as it is, imo. Then again, I don't drink and the few times I have tasted an alcoholic beverage, it was nasty crap. I'll stick to my root beer, thankyouverymuch.

wheelchairman
03-24-2009, 04:09 PM
Having lived in both worlds (the US and Europe), I believe very much in the fact that being conservative with regards to alcohol has only exacerbated the problem in the US. Sure in Denmark we have underage highschoolers drinking, but they almost never drink themselves to death, and rarely drink themselves into a hospital.

I think if there were a reformation it should happen in concerto with driving laws. Where driving in the states is a bit more common, especially at a younger age or whatever. But honestly I just think that not allowing 18 year olds to drink is weird. Doesn't make sense.

A pro pos I'm a little drunk right now, and I'm not afraid to admit that teetotalers creep me the hell out. Weirdos.

T-6005
03-24-2009, 04:17 PM
Holy shit, I always forget that the drinking age in the United States is 21. Hot damn, that's ridiculous.

WCM has a point - what I hate the most, though, are state-sponsored liquor stores.

Right now, I have to leave the house to get a few beers. Because the state-run store closes at 9. It's ridiculous - if I want a late-night beer I have to go to a bar and pay twice as much and put up with crowds? There is no rational basis to ban the selling of alcohol in convenience stores or supermarkets.

I honestly believe that the strict approach to drinking only makes the problem worse - kids learn to drink in an uncontrolled environment, naively believing themselves capable of imbibing superhuman amounts of alcohol instead of hanging out at home and having a few beers with their parents at a younger age, learning that it feels pretty much the same minus throwing up and blacking out.

0r4ng3
03-24-2009, 05:04 PM
If we lower the drinking age from 21 to 18, then right there's already 3 years worth of American citizens not drinking illegally. The underage drinking problem would be that much less of a problem!

wheelchairman
03-24-2009, 05:08 PM
Holy shit, I always forget that the drinking age in the United States is 21. Hot damn, that's ridiculous.

WCM has a point - what I hate the most, though, are state-sponsored liquor stores.

Right now, I have to leave the house to get a few beers. Because the state-run store closes at 9. It's ridiculous - if I want a late-night beer I have to go to a bar and pay twice as much and put up with crowds? There is no rational basis to ban the selling of alcohol in convenience stores or supermarkets.

I honestly believe that the strict approach to drinking only makes the problem worse - kids learn to drink in an uncontrolled environment, naively believing themselves capable of imbibing superhuman amounts of alcohol instead of hanging out at home and having a few beers with their parents at a younger age, learning that it feels pretty much the same minus throwing up and blacking out.
Yeah both Canadians and Swedes amaze me for putting up with it. I mean I'm too lazy to walk the 5 minutes it takes to get to a gas station or 7/11 when it's past 1 am, but I'll do it sometimes if I think the situation requires more booze. And I figured you would agree with me thi, that teetotalers are fucking weirdos.

jacknife737
03-24-2009, 06:00 PM
Don't care about America, but the Canadian one should be lowered to 18; pretty much first year university. I also think you should be able to drink (beer or wine) at restaurants at 16, with parental permission; it helps to get rid of the novelty of drinking underage/ binge drinking when you turn of age.


Yeah both Canadians and Swedes amaze me for putting up with it.

It's only in certain provinces, unfortunately i live at one. I hate being a slave to the LCBO and Beer Store business hours.

mrconeman
03-24-2009, 06:21 PM
21 drinking law is fucking retarded.

It's not even that I believe 18 is the right age, or think I have a definitive better idea about the whole issue, it's that a grown man at the age of 20, in the States, can't walk into a bar and order himself a beer - that shit is so fucking wrong.

renato piquette
03-24-2009, 06:54 PM
maybe my post sound stupid,but i`ve aways wondered why you can`t drink alcohol in the u.s. being 20 but you CAN be an 18 years old porn star

leo3375
03-24-2009, 07:36 PM
Personally, I think it would be better to lower the legal drinking age to 19 but allow 18-year-olds to buy alcohol if they have a college ID. In fact, the US as a society has to change its attitude about alcohol. It's fine and dandy in moderation but it seems that many facets of our culture encourage binge drinking. I do find it ridiculous that you can die for your country at 18 but you can't consume a controlled substance for another 3 years.

Outerspaceman21
03-24-2009, 07:46 PM
I vote in keeping it the same. 18 is just out of high school. Drinking will fuck with your life if you do it irresponsiblely, and lets face it, 18 years are not well known for being responsible individuals.

Al Coholic
03-24-2009, 09:25 PM
For a reason though. It's because of the hype and culture of drinknig. Many countries don't even enforce their drinking laws. I can't remember ever getting carded as a young teenager in europe. They even gave me wine on a PLANE(Fuckin Alitalia, lol). I thought this was a big deal. Italian kids my age just threw away their complimentary wine.

Up the drinking age to 25 and you'll see people in their early 20's behaving juvenilly about drinking too. And those who say that lowering it will lead to kids drinking, I ask you: Who of you didn't drink under 18? I was a casual drinker before I was a teenager, fuck that.

wheelchairman
03-24-2009, 11:32 PM
I vote in keeping it the same. 18 is just out of high school. Drinking will fuck with your life if you do it irresponsiblely, and lets face it, 18 years are not well known for being responsible individuals.

Drinking's best when you do it irresponsibly. Besides your point doesn't make sense. If you are an adult in the eyes of the law, you should have the rights of being an adult.

Llamas
03-24-2009, 11:53 PM
I'd be for lowering the drinking age to 19 in the US. However, the argument that other countries have lower drinking ages is terrible; cultures differ, and how people treat alcohol is different in various countries. But still, I think 21 is such an odd and arbitrary age... when you're 19, you're pretty much certainly out of high school and either in college or in the work force. You should be able to drink.

Vera
03-25-2009, 12:32 AM
Re: State-sponsored liquor stores, we have 'em, but we also have mild alcoholic drinks (beer, cider) available at every supermarket.

I honestly don't think pushing age limit either way really changes alcohol culture. But I think it's unfair to make people pay regular taxes and make adult decisions via taxes but not allow them the freedoms of being an adult, as well.

Thomas
03-25-2009, 01:42 AM
I'd be for lowering the drinking age to 19 in the US. However, the argument that other countries have lower drinking ages is terrible; cultures differ, and how people treat alcohol is different in various countries. But still, I think 21 is such an odd and arbitrary age... when you're 19, you're pretty much certainly out of high school and either in college or in the work force. You should be able to drink.

+1

I actually really like this idea.

darea
03-25-2009, 02:15 AM
The drinking age in France is 18. I don't see why it shouldn't be 18 everywhere except that a lot of people at 18 are still kids and get drunk go and do dumb things, have accidents.. whatever. Not that at 21 people are especially more responsible.

But the thing is, when something is illegal it makes people want it more than if it was legal. So I'm sure that although the drinking age is 21 in the states, it doesn't stop the younger ones from drinking.

RickyCrack
03-25-2009, 03:59 AM
your brain doesn't fully develop until the age of about 22, 23? And this last part that develops is the frontal lobe, which connects to decision making, etc etc. Basically when you drink before this finishes devoloping you're brain cannot grow to it's full functuality, this is why, in america, the drinking age will probably never go below 21.

Al Coholic
03-25-2009, 06:23 AM
Again though, everybody under 21 already drinks...

Jules69
03-25-2009, 06:48 AM
I have to agree eventhough I don't drink!! I always thought that if you can go to jail at 18 then you should be allowded to drink!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oxygene
03-25-2009, 07:55 AM
Yeah I do love, how you can get your leg shot off in Iraq, but can't have a beer to help cope.

It's poetic.

ad8
03-25-2009, 07:56 AM
In Germany, most kids start drinking with 14 or so. I think that 16 is ok for beer/wine and 18 is ok for liquor. I think someone who is 18 years old should be able to buy alcohol as they should also be able to drink responsibly.

Outerspaceman21
03-25-2009, 09:49 AM
Drinking's best when you do it irresponsibly. Besides your point doesn't make sense. If you are an adult in the eyes of the law, you should have the rights of being an adult.

Well, honestly, I don't think it will matter if you lower it or not. 18 year olds will do whatever is possible to get their hands on alcohol and most teens have had alcohol before they are even 18 or 21.

Besides, the only reason they made 18 year olds legal adults is because they needed soldiers to march off to war.

Llamas
03-25-2009, 10:43 AM
In Germany, most kids start drinking with 14 or so. I think that 16 is ok for beer/wine and 18 is ok for liquor. I think someone who is 18 years old should be able to buy alcohol as they should also be able to drink responsibly.

lol the US would be fucked if high school sophomore could drink legally. oh man.

RC, the brain is constantly developing, plus I've never heard anyone official use that as the argument. I really doubt that's the reason it's 21.

RickyCrack
03-25-2009, 11:34 AM
TOTAL BS. You are so full of crap, it is hard to comprehend.


RC, the brain is constantly developing, plus I've never heard anyone official use that as the argument. I really doubt that's the reason it's 21.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/teenage-brain-a-work-in-progress-fact-sheet/index.shtml



While this work suggests a wave of brain white matter development that flows from front to back, animal, functional brain imaging and postmortem studies have suggested that gray matter maturation flows in the opposite direction, with the frontal lobes not fully maturing until young adulthood. To confirm this in living humans, the UCLA researchers compared MRI scans of young adults, 23-30, with those of teens, 12-16.4 They looked for signs of myelin, which would imply more mature, efficient connections, within gray matter. As expected, areas of the frontal lobe showed the largest differences between young adults and teens. This increased myelination in the adult frontal cortex likely relates to the maturation of cognitive processing and other "executive" functions. Parietal and temporal areas mediating spatial, sensory, auditory and language functions appeared largely mature in the teen brain. The observed late maturation of the frontal lobe conspicuously coincides with the typical age-of-onset of schizophrenia—late teens, early twenties—which, as noted earlier, is characterized by impaired "executive" functioning.

Another series of MRI studies is shedding light on how teens may process emotions differently than adults. Using functional MRI (fMRI), a team led by Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd at Harvard's McLean Hospital scanned subjects' brain activity while they identified emotions on pictures of faces displayed on a computer screen.5 Young teens, who characteristically perform poorly on the task, activated the amygdala, a brain center that mediates fear and other "gut" reactions, more than the frontal lobe. As teens grow older, their brain activity during this task tends to shift to the frontal lobe, leading to more reasoned perceptions and improved performance. Similarly, the researchers saw a shift in activation from the temporal lobe to the frontal lobe during a language skills task, as teens got older. These functional changes paralleled structural changes in temporal lobe white matter.

wheelchairman
03-25-2009, 12:06 PM
Besides, the only reason they made 18 year olds legal adults is because they needed soldiers to march off to war.

Somehow I seriously doubt that. I think it has far more to do with when the average person finished high school and could work full-time or study at an institute of higher learning.

Outerspaceman21
03-25-2009, 01:59 PM
Somehow I seriously doubt that. I think it has far more to do with when the average person finished high school and could work full-time or study at an institute of higher learning.

Well, thats what some teacher told me, or at least thats what he believed.

Upon futher research, it say that 18 year old could be drafted in the Vietnam War, but the legal voting age was set at 21 until 1971 when the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which gave us the right to bear arms, own property, marry without parental consent(in almost all states), get an abortion, donate their bodies to science, and serve on a jury.

Heres more extended research

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Or at least links.

Oxygene
03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
Aren't NIH the guys who spend billions and billions of dollars on research and can't cure athelet's foot?

Outerspaceman21
03-25-2009, 02:06 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-20-drinkingage_N.htm

This article tells that some states are considering lowering the age for military personnel

wheelchairman
03-25-2009, 02:50 PM
alcohol noob.

Llamas
03-25-2009, 04:35 PM
To RickyCrack: That article is quite wishy washy, first of all. I don't buy much of what they say, as they employ the use of vague and long-winded wording in a way that conveys very little actual fact. Not very scientific. Furthermore, the article doesn't disprove anything I said.


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-20-drinkingage_N.htm

This article tells that some states are considering lowering the age for military personnel

That doesn't prove anything; the reason for this is because the military has been hard up until VERY recently. Nobody has wanted to join the military due to the war, the previous president, foreign relations, etc, etc. The military was getting desperate to the point where they were recruiting people who FAILED THE ACCEPTANCE EXAM (lolz). They'd been so desperate that they'd do anything... it doesn't prove that it's the reason 18 is the age to become an adult; a lot of it has to do with the age that you're out on your own, able to leave home, get a job, graduate school, etc. Not just war.

Rag Doll
03-25-2009, 04:42 PM
I like the idea that several people mentioned of it being 19. However, I also dislike it because goddammit, I had to wait til I turned 21 to (legally) drink!

Anyway, don't expect it to happen. When states try to lower it on their own, the federal government threatens to take away the federal highway funding for that state. And the states need that. Sooo....21 it shall remain.

WebDudette
03-25-2009, 04:48 PM
I would be happy to see it lowered. I think it would take away from the excitement of drinking, but it really isn't going to effect me a whole lot.

Llamas
03-25-2009, 04:49 PM
I like the idea that several people mentioned of it being 19. However, I also dislike it because goddammit, I had to wait til I turned 21 to (legally) drink!
haha, I approve! If we had to do it, so should everyone else!!!


Anyway, don't expect it to happen. When states try to lower it on their own, the federal government threatens to take away the federal highway funding for that state. And the states need that. Sooo....21 it shall remain.
This is pretty solid. I think that, as long as the US is a country, the drinking age will be 21.

leo3375
03-25-2009, 06:38 PM
But back on topic: It seems like lowering the drinking age to 18 for those who serve in the military would create a bias and a sense of favoritism. In fact, some would see it as an incentive to join the military. I'm of the school of thought that if you're going to lower it for soldiers you might as well lower it for everyone.

RickyCrack
03-25-2009, 09:41 PM
To RickyCrack: That article is quite wishy washy, first of all. I don't buy much of what they say, as they employ the use of vague and long-winded wording in a way that conveys very little actual fact. Not very scientific. Furthermore, the article doesn't disprove anything I said.


alright tl;dr version. The brain operates through electrical current through the brain. The UCLA scans show that myelin grows, at an accelerated rate, in the frontal lobe between the ages of 16-23, also the gray matter of your brain doesn't fully mature or at least the point is the frontal lobe grows a considerable amount between these ages. Different parts of the brain affect different parts of your body and thought processes. The frontal lobe is mainly concerned with reasoning, decision making, these sorts of things. Brain scans of 16 year olds show that the frontal lobe is not a major part in these actions, the brain makes up for this loss by incorporating other parts of the brain. Brain scans in 21-23 year olds show that the frontal lobe plays the major role in these factors.

The point is that during the time between 16-21 at the earliest, the brain development of the frontal lobe is considerably important. And I'm sure I don't have to find a study about the effects of alcohol on the brain, and also what the effects of alcoholism would do to a developing brain. Fetal alcohol syndrome effects a developing fetus in extreme proportions.

Yes the brain continually grows, but during this time period is when the majority of the frontal lobe is developed. And yes alcohol will affect this development. And yes kids still drink underage at this age, but still, imagine if they could legally buy their own alcohol. The age limit at least hinders binge drinking at an onset age. I'm not saying a little alcohol will ruin the development of the brain, but imagine a 16 year old binge drinking every night of his life and imagine the outcomes of his brain development 6 years later.

Outerspaceman21
03-25-2009, 11:24 PM
That doesn't prove anything; the reason for this is because the military has been hard up until VERY recently. Nobody has wanted to join the military due to the war, the previous president, foreign relations, etc, etc. The military was getting desperate to the point where they were recruiting people who FAILED THE ACCEPTANCE EXAM (lolz). They'd been so desperate that they'd do anything... it doesn't prove that it's the reason 18 is the age to become an adult; a lot of it has to do with the age that you're out on your own, able to leave home, get a job, graduate school, etc. Not just war.

I wasn't trying to prove anything, I was just showing an article about some states taking the age limit under examination for special individuals. Sure, this doesn't answer the question of whether it should be lowered or not, but it doesn't hurt posting it.

On a semi unrelated issue, many cultures believe 18 is the age of maturity, which explains as to why many foreign nations have 18 as the legal drinking age. Why the US has it set at 21 is beyond me and frankly I don't care. If people really think it's that big a deal, then they really need to re-evaluate their circumstances in life

Mellow Chaos
03-26-2009, 04:48 AM
I don't think there should be a drinking age. Knowing it's off-limits is part of the appeal for kids who think it's somehow cool or rebellious to drink. Otherwise, I definitely think it ought to be regulated the way it is now, i.e. keep drinking and driving under the influence illegal, that sort of thing.

T-6005
03-26-2009, 08:40 AM
24)The term “Dipsomania” refers to abnormal cravings for alcohol.
...( someone may need to produce a song titled Dipsomania; )

Is this as opposed to normal cravings for alcohol?


17) In some European countries McDonald’s serves
alcohol. Some parents like to drink alcohol while kids
munch on fries and chicken nuggets. McDonald’s decided they needed all the customers they can get.

Or they decided not to export their cultural value much further than necessary and to let people drink with their meals, like they do in all the world's normal countries.

Llamas
03-26-2009, 04:44 PM
alright tl;dr version. The brain operates through electrical current through the brain. The UCLA scans show that myelin grows, at an accelerated rate, in the frontal lobe between the ages of 16-23, also the gray matter of your brain doesn't fully mature or at least the point is the frontal lobe grows a considerable amount between these ages. Different parts of the brain affect different parts of your body and thought processes. The frontal lobe is mainly concerned with reasoning, decision making, these sorts of things. Brain scans of 16 year olds show that the frontal lobe is not a major part in these actions, the brain makes up for this loss by incorporating other parts of the brain. Brain scans in 21-23 year olds show that the frontal lobe plays the major role in these factors.

The point is that during the time between 16-21 at the earliest, the brain development of the frontal lobe is considerably important. And I'm sure I don't have to find a study about the effects of alcohol on the brain, and also what the effects of alcoholism would do to a developing brain. Fetal alcohol syndrome effects a developing fetus in extreme proportions.

Yes the brain continually grows, but during this time period is when the majority of the frontal lobe is developed. And yes alcohol will affect this development. And yes kids still drink underage at this age, but still, imagine if they could legally buy their own alcohol. The age limit at least hinders binge drinking at an onset age. I'm not saying a little alcohol will ruin the development of the brain, but imagine a 16 year old binge drinking every night of his life and imagine the outcomes of his brain development 6 years later.

I got the jist of the article... I wasn't saying that it was too vague for me to understand what they were saying. Rather, they didn't give hard facts, but just sort of "the brain does this somewhere between this general unspecific time for some people". I'd have to see actual lab results and maybe a scientific article describing the proof behind this... data, the numbers of people involved and their backgrounds, etc etc.

On top of the unscientificness (great word) of the article, it still doesn't disprove anything I said. Furthermore, I don't see the rest of the world with a bunch of 16 year olds who have no ability for inhibitions because they drink so much. It's just not a solid argument, even everything else aside.