By Marco Montoya |Staff Writer|
The age for legal alcohol consumption in California might be lowered to 18 due to a new proposed ballot initiative.
For the bill to be a part of the November 2016 ballot, the proponent Terrance Lynn must acquire 365,880 signatures by April 26, 2016, according to KTLA 5.
Lynn argued that 18-year-olds have all the responsibilities and entitlements of adults so they should also be allowed to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. He also estimates that it could bring millions of dollars in taxes every year, according to KSBW.
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 made the legal age to consume alcohol, 21 and according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that law has saved more than 25,000 lives, decreasing tragedies by about 16 percent.
MADD also stated, that when some states lowered the drinking age, under-aged drinking became an even bigger problem and caused fatal car accidents in the area to double.
According to ABC News, The California Attorney General’s Office said the state would lose nearly $200 million in federal highway funds if the ballot were to pass.
“I don’t necessarily agree with the age being lowered. Even though it would be pretty cool to buy drinks legally I feel like it would bring more harm than good. I think the drinking age is fine the way it is,” said student David Garcia.
Student Maria de Lourdes Campos said, “I think it should be legalized because at the rightful age of 18 you can register to vote, buy cigarettes, serve jury duty and are considered an adult therefore should have the right to decide whether or not you want to consume an alcoholic beverage.”
“If you’re 18 you should be able to know enough about yourself to be able to be responsible about the situation,” said Criminal Justice Department Secretary Matthew Aguilera
“I feel like some 18-year-olds would abuse the privilege considering some are still in high school. Eighteen- year-olds in America just aren’t the same as in other countries,” said Criminal Justice Department Secretary Christina Ruiz
According to KTLA 5, although some states make exceptions for lawful employment, religious reasons or parent consent, they all prohibit anyone under 21 to consume alcohol as of now under California law.