Letter to the Editor: Laws exist for a reason


I am writing in response to Nick Macey’s April 19 column regarding the drinking age. Although I believe that his arguments are valid to a certain extent, we have all heard them time and time again. So, I’d like to play devil’s advocate for just a moment.

The headline of Macey’s article is the first part of this overused, unrealistic argument I would like to address. The headline is, “Marriage OK for 18-year-olds, but not drinking and gambling?!” Marriage is not OK for 18-year olds. Simply because the law says 18-year-olds can marry doesn’t mean they should. In fact, I don’t know a single 18-year-old who should marry. I firmly believe that a key ingredient to a successful marriage is life experience, and let’s be honest-how much life experience does an 18-year old have? Macey is right-one should first legally experience a drunken night before experiencing a marriage. However, I don’t believe that means the drinking age should be lowered. Clearly the age at which marriage is legal should be raised.

Macey argues if an 18-year-old can vote for our country’s president and marry the love of his or her short little life, he or she should legally be able to consume alcohol. Perhaps the government didn’t blindly choose age 21 for the legal drinking age. Again, Macey makes a valid point in saying that alcohol legally available to 18 year-olds would become less of a novelty. However, this makes alcohol much more accessible to younger teenagers. By decreasing the drinking age, there are automatically younger children consuming alcohol more often. Is it worth it?

Macey says “[18- to 20-year olds] should not be denied the rights given to other adults simply because of their age.” Says who? Should 13-year-olds be allowed to drive a car because they are teenagers like 16-year-olds? No.

The point is simply that there are rules and laws for a reason. Although they may not seem logical at first glance to the 18 year-old who wants to get “smashed,” with a deeper, more objective look, these laws do have some validity.

Jessie Weinstein


Speech Communication