A group of college presidents calling themselves “The Amethyst Institute” say setting the drinking age at 21 encourages binge drinking on college campuses. They are urging legislators to lower the age.
William Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, William Brody, president of Johns Hopkins, C.D. Mote Jr. of the University of Maryland and the presidents of Washington and Lee, Sweet Briar, Towson, Randolph-Macon, Duke, Tufts, Dartmouth and others have signed on to the effort. (source)
The Washington Post article says that it will likely be politically difficult to change the nationwide drinking age.
I think that the college presidents have a point. Binge drinking is virtually unknown in societies that are less puritanical in their approach to booze. The kid who dies from drinking too much isn’t too young to handle alcohol, he’s too inexperienced with the substance. Nevertheless, as the WaPo knows, common sense and politics don’t go hand in hand.