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drinking age

A legal drinking age, is the minimum age one must be to legally purchase alcohol. In Canada, the drinking age falls under the provincial jurisdiction, Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba have set the age at 18, and all other provinces at 19.

Related Issues: alcoholism, drug abuse?, prohibition?

Position: Raise the Drinking age to 21.

Arguments for:

  • A higher minimum drinking age is based on minimizing car accidents. The relatively high US drinking age lowers the risk of accidents and alcohol addiction in younger people.
  • While some will ignore any prohibitions on drinking, the majority of people are "law abiding" and will obey.
  • A high minimum drinking age makes a clear statement that drinking is socially inappropriate for young people.

Arguments Against:

  • If one is old enough to vote and be drafted, one is old enough to drink.
  • Being introduced to alcohol at a younger age in a family environment means people are more likely to learn responsible drinking habits.
  • It's unreasonable to think that college students will not experiment with alcohol until they are 21.
  • Prohibition leads to binge drinking. Research released in 2002 provides the first national comparison of college students' drinking habits in the United States and Canada, and finds that while more Canadian students drink, American students drink more heavily. This study is published in the December 2002 issue of the journal, Addiction(external link)

Position: Eliminate the prohibition and teach responsibility.


Arguments for:

  • Prohibition? of drugs and alcohol is counterproductive and generally encourages rebellion and crime.
  • Teenagers don't seem to have any problem circumventing the law.
  • Youth generally follow the examples set by their elders anyways (whether they drink responsibly or not)

Arguments Against:

  • Allowing teenage drivers to purchase alcohol is way too dangerous.

[+] Drinking age at 21

[+] Drinking age remaining at 18

Sources:

drinking age - wikipedia
http://www.safety-council.org/info/traffic/impaired/age.html(external link)



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