The Vermont Cynic

Let’s stop hiding in basements

Pot smoking in 2013 is similar to alcohol prohibition circa 1923; a lot of people do it, a lot of people like doing it, and those same people wont give it up just because its illegal. I am not an opponent of marijuana smoking even though it is illegal.

Lets face it, there are a lot of things that are classified under the law as being illegal, yet we continue to do them anyway. One of these activities is purchasing, furnishing to, and yes, even consuming alcohol under the age of 21. I ask you this question: do you think this is a just law? The conservatives in the early 1980s seemed to think so.

During a time of moral and wholesome fervor that gripped our country during Reagans time at the helm, a small but vocal nonprofit group called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD angry indeed!) was able to lobby for their cause of ending teenage deaths on the road due to alcohol intoxication.

In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which mandated that every state change their minimum drinking ages to 21. As many of you know, this was not a mandate. States can have 18-year old drinking ages, but lose 10 percent of highway funding that the federal government supplies.

As a result, most states changed their laws immediately. Vermont finally complied in 1986, at which point the college party scene was officially driven out of the bars and into dirty, crowded basements. Those potholes need fixing! I am a firm advocate of lowering the drinking age and I am not ashamed to say so. Yes, alcohol is a drug and has the potential to harm when abused.

I can give basic reasons why the age should be lowered. An 18-year old American can legally wed, give consent, join the army, die for our country in the name of preserving freedom, and yet these same adult Americans do not have the right to enjoy a night out on the town and buy some drinks.

Instead, college life on the weekends is a strange place, where the thought of consuming alcohol and having a good time if you are under 21 (and lets face it, most of us here are) is met with the risk of getting caught.

Marijuana, although illegal, is a unique way of escaping and letting loose. Easy to obtain, more socially acceptable in public and glorified in media, this is the drug of choice for many American college weekenders. If you want my perspective, pot is no fun. I would rather curl up into a ball and eat a bunch of goldfish alone after ripping a bong than enjoying a fun night out with friends and a few drinks.

America, dont let us down this time. We are adults, and we want to be treated as such. States should be able to make laws without having the federal government poking its moral finger back at us. A safe atmosphere starts with awareness. Alcohol, like any vice, is dangerous when abused. But we are in control of our bodies and we should be able to understand what responsible behavior consists of.

In college, this should be expected of us. The Canadians got it right. Its about damn time we realize this about ourselves.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andrew Fusco

Class of 2015

 

Letter to the editor: Let’s stop hiding in basements

Pot smoking in 2013 is similar to alcohol prohibition circa 1923 ? a lot of people do it, a lot of people like doing it, and those same people won?t give it up just because it?s illegal. I am not an opponent of marijuana smoking even though it is illegal. Let?s face it, there are a lot of things that are classified under the law as being ?illegal,? yet we continue to do them anyway. One of these activities is purchasing, furnishing to, and yes, even consuming alcohol under the age of 21. I ask you this question: do you think this is a just law? The conservatives in the early 1980s seemed to think so. During a time of moral and wholesome fervor that gripped our country during Reagan?s time at the helm, a small but vocal nonprofit group called Mother?s Against Drunk Driving (MADD ? angry indeed!) was able to lobby for their cause of ending teenage deaths on the road due to alcohol intoxication. In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which mandated that every state change their minimum drinking ages to 21. As many of you know, this was not a mandate. States can have 18-year old drinking ages, but lose 10 percent of highway funding that the federal government supplies. As a result, most states changed their laws immediately. Vermont finally complied in 1986, at which point the college party scene was officially driven out of the bars and into dirty, crowded basements. Those potholes need fixing! I am a firm advocate of lowering the drinking age and I am not ashamed to say so. Yes, alcohol is a drug and has the potential to harm when abused. I can give basic reasons why the age should be lowered.An 18-year old American can legally wed, give consent, join the army, die for our country in the name of preserving freedom, and yet these same ?adult? Americans do not have the right to enjoy a night out on the town and buy some drinks. Instead, college life on the weekends is a strange place, where the thought of consuming alcohol and having a good time if you are under 21 (and let?s face it, most of us here are) is met with the risk of getting caught. Marijuana, although illegal, is a unique way of escaping and ?letting loose.? Easy to obtain, more socially acceptable in public and glorified in media, this is the drug of choice for many American college weekenders. If you want my perspective, pot is no fun. I would rather curl up into a ball and eat a bunch of goldfish alone after ripping a bong than enjoying a fun night out with friends and a few drinks. America, don?t let us down this time. We are adults, and we want to be treated as such. States should be able to make laws without having the federal government poking its moral finger back at us. A safe atmosphere starts with awareness. Alcohol, like any vice, is dangerous when abused. But we are in control of our bodies and we should be able to understand what responsible behavior consists of. In college, this should be expected of us. The Canadians got it right. It?s about damn time we realize this about ourselves.?Sincerely,?Andrew FuscoClass of 2015

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Let’s stop hiding in basements