Jan 212010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Whether Mothers Against Drunk Drivers likes it or not, college students lap up booze like sweaty dogs lap up cool, clean stream water.

For those under the ripe age of 21, this means scheming behind heavy, closed doors and in the shadows of dark alleys, grimly determined to hunt down a bottle and drain its precious fluids before wandering through quiet neighborhoods, flailing like a dying squid and screaming like a cornered rabbit.

Or it means finding a frat party.

But for minors in Vermont, that could all soon change.

According to the Washington Post, the state’s independent voting community could provide the perfect climate for defying a federal mandate and returning the state’s drinking age to 18 years.

In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act required every state in the union to raise its legal drinking age to 21 or face losing federal transportation funds. South Dakota was the last state to bow under federal pressure in 1988.

John McCardell, a former Middlebury College president and founder of the nonprofit Choose Responsibility, told Vermont legislators Thursday that the law stifles debate on a valid issue, and we both commend him and agree.

Sure it’s absurd that an 18-year-old can’t slurp down a Long Island Ice Tea while voting or dying for his or her country, but the Vermont debate is more about state’s rights than anything else.

For two and a half decades, the federal government has used its funding chokehold to effectively extort the states to function as it demands.

The U.S. was founded on the principle that states should have a large degree of autonomy from the national government. The national drinking age requirement is just one example of how the feds have violated that fundamental concept.
So way to go Vermont. Stick it to the man.

 Posted by at 5:25 pm

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