Pubdate: Tue, 11 Apr 2000
Source: Colorado Daily (CO)
Copyright: 2000 Colorado Daily
Contact:  P.O. Box 1719, Boulder, CO 80306
Fax: (303) 443-9357
Author: Lee Gilbert


It seems that Boulder's War on Alcohol has been about as effective as the 
federal War on Drugs. Both seem to have as a premise that if you pass a law 
and tell me to just say no, then the problem will disappear. When it does 
not, then they assume you just need to "get tougher."

In Boulder, getting tougher included the zero tolerance policy toward 
underage drinking and the ban on alcohol at football games. The ban 
demonstrates what is wrong with this approach. Instead of punishing the 
people who get drunk and can't handle themselves, the ban punishes everyone 
- -- the responsible drinkers as well as the irresponsible ones.

I think it's time for a new approach. Lower the drinking age. At 18, a 
person can vote and join the military. Why not allow that person to have a 
drink? Encourage moderate alcohol use for those who wish to drink. There 
are lots of ways to do this. And as part of this approach, enforce those 
laws that deal with real crimes -- drunk driving, rape and violence. In the 
case of alcohol at football games, punish the ones who break the rules by 
appropriate sanctions -- not allowing them to attend future games or 
criminal prosecution.

Alcohol and other drug use are part of life. Responsible use is not a 
problem. And it is long past time that we drop the "just say no" approach.

Lee Gilbert, Boulder
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