The Instigator
SkySky16
Pro (for)
The Contender
CivilianName295
Con (against)

Should the legal drinking age be lowered to 18?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 484 times Debate No: 100776
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

SkySky16

Pro

R1: Acceptance
R2: Opening statements
R3&4: Rebuttals
R5: Closing Arguments/Statements
CivilianName295

Con

I accept the rules and conditions of this debate
Debate Round No. 1
SkySky16

Pro

My opening statement will be structured in clear and logical points. Let's begin!

1. Lowering the MLDA (Minimum Legal Drinking Age) Would Lower Irresponsible Consumption of Alcohol

My first argument is that it will lower alcohol abuse by teaching in controlled environments, such as restaurants, bars, and official school/university functions, how to drink responsibly.[1] This would be a supervised series of situations. Besides, drinking before 21 years of age without a doubt happens, and is a regular part of the average college student regardless of age. Unfortunately, this drinking is often self destructive and incredibly irresponsible for the fact that it gives the notion of "the forbidden fruit" which instills a feeling of rebellion on underage drinking.[1]
Prohibition back in the 1850's and 1920's addressed the same problem of irresponsible drinking, we are repeating past failures now with a focus on young adults. Revisiting the rebellion notion, we see that it causes what is called "binge" drinking. People under the age of 21, especially college students, are more likely to be binge drinkers. "For example, 22% of all students under 21 compared to 18% over 21 years of age are heavy drinkers. Among drinkers only, 32% of under age compared to 24% of legal age are heavy drinkers."[1] The statistics alone prove that it is ineffective in its prevention of underage drinking and irresponsible behaviors, but also that it causes exactly what it is trying to stop.

2. Advantage - Lower Abuse of these Substances is Good

The effects of binge drinking are horribly detrimental. These affects include:
"Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning)
Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence)
Alcohol poisoning
Sexually transmitted diseases
Unintended pregnancy
Children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
High blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases
Liver disease
Neurological damage
Sexual dysfunction, and
Poor control of diabetes."[2]
So, using the evidence and research from contention 1 we can conclude that with the decrease of binge drinking and heavy drinking there will also be a direct decrease of all the affects above.
We can also extend this advantage to the national stage. "Drinking too much, including binge drinking, cost the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 a drink, from losses in productivity, health care, crime, and other expenses. Binge drinking was responsible for 77% of these costs, or $191 billion." I advocate for the freedom of people to do with their bodies what they will, but if there is a way we can stop abuse without law then we should definitely do so.

3. Advantage - Human Rights and Freedom

a. Lowering MLDA Increases Freedom
The saying "My body, my right" is mostly used in regards to abortion these days. But we should bring it to the MLDA. If one is an adult at the age of 18, and can now legally decide what medical treatments they are to take part in or what candidate is to lead the country, or even fight in a war or conflict that has the capacity to kill, maim, or traumatize, why can't that same adult enjoy an alcoholic beverage? There is no reasonable arguments against this. By lowering the MLDA, there will be an increase in freedom. Millions of young adults would now be able to legally choose what beverage they can put in their bodies.

b. Freedom is Good
"The historical reality is that freedom was often significantly infringed by powerful individuals who used force to make claims of over the lives of others." [3] This is exactly what is being demonstrated in today's society, specifically with the MLDA. A group of powerful individuals forcefully coerce the population to follow their rules. Many of those rules being completely justified, while others are not. Freedom is good because, "...it allows the individual to live and flourish. It allows for more-rapid development of knowledge, better road maps for decisions, and personal responsibility, leading individuals to set and attain higher goals for improving their lives. Society is simply a way to describe the interactions of individuals, and the amazing reality, amply demonstrated over the last few centuries, is that more freedom and voluntary interaction lead to more peace and widespread prosperity." The only thing debatable in this advantage is how much lowering the MLDA would access this freedom. It is proven that it will increase freedom.

4. No Legal Justification for the MLDA

a. Why the MLDA is put into place
As explained in contention one, the MLDA was put into place and then raised to 21 on the thought that it would protect younger individuals.

b. Direct Contradiction to Laws with the same Purpose
Laws that protect you from yourself are inherently detrimental to freedom. The MLDA is one of those laws, but also directly contradicts other such regulations put into place. For example, tobacco causes 480,000 deaths annually (in the US alone.) [4] While alcohol only caused 88,000 deaths. [5] There is no reasonable argument to explain why the more lethal one is allowed to young adults under the age of 21 while the less lethal isn't. Nicotine is also more addictive than hard narcotics: "Nicotine, therefore, has a combination effect of INCREASING dopamine release while DECREASING inhibitory GABA response. The artificially-induced reward of nicotine is therefore amplified as is the addiction, and THAT is why nicotine is now considered the most addicting drug in the world. It"s not cocaine or heroin or morphine or viagra or xanax or oxycodone or percocet, it"s nicotine." [6]

5. Advantage - Stops Future Violations of Freedoms

a. The Expansion of Personal Liberties
People in the United States SHOULD have the right to do ANYTHING as long as it doesn't overlap with someone else's freedoms. Of course, exceptions exist for certain cases such as childhood, where it is assumed that the child doesn't have the knowledge or responsibility to make important life decisions. Once one reaches that legal threshold of 18, the red tape should be indiscriminately cut off. There is no valid reason against this, if it only effects that individual then that individual should be able to do whatever it is they want to do.

b. Laws that Protect You from Yourself Corrode Freedom
"If someone has a drug addiction, it is not the place of government to get involved. Once that door is opened, government can then grab even more power by claiming to help any addiction. Why stop at drugs? A whole new frontier opens up for bureaucracy, waste and cronyism."[7] This is on of many of Ron Paul's criticisms of such laws and reasonably so. This is a reasonable and non-fallacious slippery slope argument. This is because of the way the legal system works and how laws are made. Precedent plays a huge part in both, once a court, especially the supreme court, decides on a case that defines whatever is at question.[9] Such incredibly important legal cases are taken seriously. Just look at McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819, Brown v. The Board of Education in 1954, and the best example pertinent to what is at hand Marbury v. Madison in 1803 because it "was a historic case that established the precedent of judicial review." [8]
Laws work the same way in that once something similar is decided constitutional by court it makes it much easier to enact further laws. These laws have the tendency to tiptoe into our freedoms and liberties. We must stop them as soon as possible, and the MLDA is one of such laws.

6. Conclusion

As you can see, lowering the MLDA has many numerous advantages. The first, and most obvious, of which is the decrease in substance abuse among young adults. The second and third aren't so obvious and sort of go hand in hand. The second focuses specifically on the freedom that lowering the MLDA would bring. The third, however, explains the potential encroachment if laws such as these are allowed to stay in place.
I look forward to con's opening statement and to a wonderful debate.
On a side note, I apologize for taking a lengthy amount of time to post this argument, work had recently jumped down my throat! I appreciate your patience.

Sources:

[1] https://scholarworks.iu.edu...
[2] https://www.cdc.gov...
[3] https://www.linkedin.com...
[4] https://www.cdc.gov...
[5] https://www.cdc.gov...
[6] http://www.stopsmoking.news...
[7] http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com...
[8] https://www.thoughtco.com...
[9] https://biotech.law.lsu.edu...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by B-Willy35 10 months ago
B-Willy35
I believe it should be lowered to 18 because when you turn 18 you are considered an adult and you should be able to make your own decisions in life for the bad or for the good.
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