Friday, January 2, 2009

Consent Cards

 I've been thinking about the recent call (made by the heads of a number of prestigious universities) to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. In my line of work (I'm in the bar business), it's an issue that we deal with regularly.

I wonder where the resistance to this is coming from, besides MADD, who are understandably irrational about the subject. Are parents worried that their kid will start drinking to soon?

Maybe they are. But if they are, then maybe we can come up with a consent card, signed by a legal guardian, which would enable the 18-20 year olds to drink. Of course, it just as quickly occurred to me that 18-20 year olds don't have guardians, since, in every other aspect of life, they are considered adults. So, in a sense, this would be an attempt to work within a system that makes no sense.

Sometimes, though, in order to make progress, you have to compromise.  Perhaps a compromise would be for the states to come up with Drinker's Ed; a class that you could take when you got your drivers license that would enable you to drink in bars. If you passed the class, you would get a license that specifically allows you to drink. 

This system is broken. But tearing it all down overnight is politically impossible. We have to start somewhere, and maybe this is one way to do that. 

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