Should Older Teens Be Able To Taste Alcohol?
The issue of teens and alcohol is facing the legislature in the State of Washington, but not in the way that you might think. Instead of the idea of keeping teens from drinking, this legislation is actually encouraging it. The bill in question would allow older teens (translated as 18 and 19 year old college students), to taste alcohol as part of a class at college, particularly those in culinary or beer technology classes (wow, they do have a class for practically everything in college, these days). The catch is that they can taste, but they are not allowed to swallow it. That actually sounds like a bad Bill Clinton excuse about whether or not he smoked pot, but I digress.
While I can understand that this might be a problem for a few people, I can't imagine that many would have major issues with this. In addition, there are those that say this would get alcohol in the hands of those that are underaged, which is true, after a fashion.
The ultimate question, I think, is one that has not been asked many times. Should we lower the drinking age altogether? There are people on both sides of the issue. For many, teens are getting their hands on alcohol anyway, so they think "why not?" I'm not sure that is the wisest course though since many are not as able to make clear thinking decisions at that age. Still, it goes back to the idea of the government getting out of issues like this one, but I think that the government has to sound off here. We need to make sure that our streets are safe from those that drink and drive. This is a way to do that partially and I see no need to change it.
Still, for those that need to be able to taste, it should not be a problem. What is called for ultimately is not a new law, but instead some common sense, which, let's face it, is a new concept for many.