Lowering The Legal Drinking Age Essay

Lowering The Legal Drinking Age Essay

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The legal drinking age has been a highly controversial topic since the prohibition. After the prohibition in 1933 the legal drinking age was either set or lowered to the age of 18 in states such as North Carolina, New York, Florida and a few others. There are both pros and cons to lowering the legal drinking age. There are many cons to lowering the drinking age, such as; medical studies have shown in young adults that the consumption of alcohol may interfere with the development of the individual’s brain but more specifically the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe handles the functions of the brain; such as organization, and planning, and even emotional regulation. “When alcohol consumption interferes with this early adult brain development, the potential for chronic problems such as greater vulnerability to addiction, dangerous risk-taking behavior, reduced decision-making ability, memory loss, depression, violence, and suicide is greater” (ProCon.org). This isn’t the only con to lowering the drinking age. Another con is that if we were to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18 it would make it even easier for teens in high schools and kids in middle schools to obtain and consume alcohol. “Newly-legal drinkers often purchase alcohol for their underage peers, creating a "trickle-down" effect. Surveys show that the most common source of alcohol among 18- to 20-year olds are their 21- to 24-year-old peers” (ProCon.org).
Though there may be multiple cons to lowering the drinking age, there are also a fair amount of pros to it as well. For example, if the legal drinking age was lowered to 18 this would allow 18 year olds to go to bars and clubs where they are being watched by bartenders and bouncers to make sure they do not consume to much...


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...feel this sense of pressure is due to the simple fact that serving, purchasing, or consuming alcohol as a minor is illegal. It puts pressure on people who may be at the age of 21 because it is also illegal to serve or purchase alcohol for and to a minor. “Youth may choose not to drink, or to drink less often, because of decreased social acceptability or increased risks from parental or legal authorities. Older youth and adults may furnish alcoholic beverages to minors less frequently, and licensed alcohol outlets may sell to minors less frequently, because of their perceptions that it is illegal, morally wrong, or because they might be caught” (Wagenaar, Hornseth). The thought of possibly going to jail for drinking alcohol can potentially scare those who are under the age of 21 to wait till they are the correct age before consuming or attempting to purchase alcohol.

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