Why kids shouldn’t be al­lowed to drink un­til age 21

The Denver Post - - OPINION -

As a father of five teenagers and young adults, I have of­ten had to over­come the “I can fight for our coun­try but I can’t have a beer” ob­jec­tion as a rea­son for them to drink be­fore turn­ing 21. I never thought I would have to over­come that think­ing from an adult colum­nist like Froma Har­rop, but I will.

Af­ter first hear­ing this logic years ago, I sought ad­vice from a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional and he told me to sim­ply tell my kids this: “The rea­son the drink­ing age is 21 is be­cause the part of the brain most ac­count­able for de­ci­sion mak­ing is not fully de­vel­oped in hu­man be­ings un­til they are 21. Al­co­hol im­pairs the judg­ment and de­ci­sion mak­ing of young drinkers, which in­creases the risk of neg­a­tive be­hav­ior.”

Har­rop does not cite any med­i­cal rea­sons to lower the drink­ing age to 18 and only sees up­side. If that is the case, why lower to 18— why not 16 or 14?

Kevin Payne, Den­ver

Re: “Time to let 18-year-olds drink,” Jan. 24 Froma Har­rop col­umn.

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