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SOS Founder Writes About Alcohol Laws

Tom Shakely, founder of Safeguard Old State, wrote an op-ed for The Bulletin about underage drinking.

The current failed approach to alcohol education — the one that renders real experience illegal — is as absurd as trying to teach young people to drive a car responsibly without being able to get behind the wheel.

Laws that impose super-enforcement and neo-prohibition upon youth alcohol consumption are at odds with the goal of genuine alcohol education that would seek to teach responsible enjoyment on the college campus and beyond.

The youth are already drinking – perhaps the law could be made to empower rather than imprison them in their journey from youth to adulthood.

We agree. 10 kids drinking in the woods is much more dangerous than 100 kids drinking in a bar. By setting up alcohol as the forbidden fruit, laws only encourage kids to pursue binge drinking. I wish Penn State would support efforts to lower the drinking age. Recall this excerpt from an article about Damon Sims’ Fireside Chat earlier this fall.

College Libertarians President Alex Weller mentioned the Amethyst Initiative, a group of university presidents who have pledged to “rethink” the drinking age, and asked Sims if he thought lowering the drinking age was a good idea. Penn State President Graham Spanier declined to support the initiative.

“Colleges and universities across the country have thrown millions of dollars at [preventing dangerous drinking],” Sims said. “I think if anyone tells you they’ve made a dent, they’re lying to you.”

He added that research has shown that lowering the drinking age would not necessarily decrease dangerous drinking and advocated for “a wholly new approach” to the issue.

It seems like Shakely and Sims are on the same page. Maybe they should get together, but without Spanier.

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Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.


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