VANCOUVER, Wash. - A college student at Washington State filed an initiative to lower the state's legal drinking age. It started out as a class project and grew from there.
Dustin Reischman wants people as young as 19 to be able to drink. "We will help reduce binge drinking because as it stands right now, most people who participate in these events are people between 19 and 21 in my opinion," said Reischman.
Opponents, however, fear the initiative would do more harm than good. "I don't think there's enough education that goes into drinking," said Brandon Prescott of Vancouver. "I think you hear about people binge drinking all the time."
Even though the initiative was filed in Washington state, Pete Schulberg of Oregon Partnership weighed in. He said lowering the drinking age to 19 was bad for public safety and public health. "When younger people start drinking, and drinking in excess, the chances of them becoming problem drinkers in adulthood increases dramatically," said Schulberg.
The initiative was still a long way from becoming law. To even get it on the November ballot, Reischman will need to collect more than 240,000 signatures. Voters would then need to approve the idea.