The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Essay

1220 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 null Page
The question of whether or not it would be in the best interest of the United States to lower the minimum legal drinking age has been debated for decades. Every state has the ability of establishing their individual drinking ages, and all separately have them set at 21. Within the time frame of the late 1960’s and the 1970’s, every state lowered its drinking age to 18. In July of 1982, Ronald Reagan passed the Minimum Drinking Age Act, forcing all states to maintain a minimum drinking age of 21. Each state was still allowed to set their own MLDAs, with the requirement that it must be at least 21 (Tietjen). Arguments are constantly made for both sides, people wanting to retain the current MLDA, with others wanting it to be reduced to 18. Alcohol consumption among adolescents is detrimental to their brain development and can cause severe neurological damage. In a study conducted at the University of California, neuroscientist, Susan Tapert compared the brain scans of teenagers who drank heavily with those of teenagers who did not drink. The scans of the frequent drinkers contained damaged nerve tissue, where those that did not drink did not show any signs of brain damage. She then tested each individual’s ability to retain information and think independently. The results displayed a clear difference between the drinkers and nondrinkers; the group of heavily drinking teens performed significantly worse in areas pertaining to thinking/memory, spatial functioning, and attention…

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