Adults 18 or older can serve in the military and they should be old enough to buy a drink insists a prominent Vermont state legislator, Rep. Richard Marron (R-Stowe). Mr. Marron has a half-dozen or so co-sponsors and several others are interested in supporting his proposed legislation.
Vermont governor James Douglass has discussed the idea in the past. His spokesman says the governor reports that “philosophically he agrees that if 18 is the age at which all citizens are bestowed full rights and privileges of American citizenship it ought to be the legal drinking age. However, he’s very concerned with the loss of federal transportation funds if this effort were successful.”
In 1984 the federal government threatened to penalize financially any state that did not raise its minimum legal alcohol purchase and possession age to 21 or higher. That threat remains in force and Vermont could lose $9.7 from its transportation budget if it exercises its legal right to lower the drinking age.
“I can make decisions about who I want to lead my country and make decisions about taxes, but I can’t have a beer with my friends or parents,” observes 20-year-old Charlie Guerin. She insists that legalizing drinking would reduce uncontrolled “underground drinking,” with its dangers of date rape, unrestrained heavy drinking, and the destruction of property.