Turning 18 is weird. Sure, you can serve in the military, vote, enter into binding contracts, buy a house, get sued, be thrown in jail, serve on jury duty, and buy smokes (to name a few) – but, one thing you can not do when you turn 18 is buy a beer in California. One group is trying to change that.
The “Minimum Drinking Age Initiative Statute” could be on the ballot in time for the November, 2016 elections. Backers are attempting to collect 365,880 signatures (can probably do that at a couple of colleges in a weekend) in order to qualify for the ballot. Voters would than have a say at the ballot box over what the minimum drinking age would be.
The state will most likely be against the measure, but not because of safety or anything – rather, it is all about the money. Via KUSI:
Top state financial officials said in their official review that if the drinking age were lowered in the state from 21 to 18, California could lose about $200 million each year in federal highway funds.
However, there would be increased state and local tax revenues due to the expected increase in alcohol sales to the additional young drinkers. They estimated only that the additional tax revenues would amount to “possibly several million dollars annually.””
As things are in the early stages, there has not been any official backers or opponents of the proposed law, but many expect that law enforcement officials and anti-drunk driving organizations would probably be against it – while one would guess that plenty of the 18-21 crowd and liquor companies would be for it.
What do you think, should the drinking age in California be 18 or 21 – vote and add your comments below: