A recent poll has found that:
Americans oppose lowering the minimum drinking age from 21 to 18, as it is in basically all developed countries, by a large margin. An overwhelming majority of 78 percent of Americans are against such a change in current laws. Also, it appears that parents are so polarized against the proposal that they will likely not vote for a state representative who supports lowering the legal drinking age.More than 100 college presidents have signed the Amethyst Initiative, asking government to consider lowering the legal drinking age to 18 from 21 in order to discourage college binge drinking, which they believe continues to be widespread, in part, because of its illegality.
With regard to the poll:
First, no one asked me, personally, so I take the poll with a grain of salt. This was a poll conducted by Nationwide Insurance, so its integrity must be questioned twice -- once because an insurance company might be biased against lowering the age because of a perceived increase in the risk of car accidents, and therefore, increased claims -- and once again because the poll subjects, if they were aware it was their insurance company calling, may have wanted to demonstrate a general bias against drinking in general to please the authority that sets their premiums.
Second, if it is accurate, I find it highly believable, since Americans have such hypocritical views on the use of illicit substances. For example, the majority of Americans still oppose legalization of marijuana, despite the fact that a majority of Americans have used an illicit drug or permitted others to do so in their presence, at one point or another (that's a statistic from . . . my ass). So it comes as no surprise that underage drinking, which everyone does -- nay -- is encouraged and expected to do, is still a no-no to these people being polled.
Of course, laws to prohibit things that everyone does, all the time, with almost no social deterrence attached to them, are questionable laws in the first place. Furthermore, research does show that if alcohol is seen as less of a contraband item, it will be handled more responsibly, in the open, than binged upon in secret. That makes sense.
What would really make sense is if this country started treating the DUI as the real crime it is (as opposed to focusing on underage drinking and illicit drug usage). Instead, every celebrity, athlete, and politician gets a DUI, and no one seems to care. In our justice system, these people seem to get a slap on the wrist, while people selling drugs (or caught with a sellable amount of drugs) are sent up the river, or worse. This country needs to get its priorities in order.