Correspondent Mark Shephard asked people in Elkhart, "Time Magazine reports that the age 21 drinking rule 'sets the U.S. apart from all advanced nations, and it has pushed kids toward pills and other antisocial behavior.' What do you think of the rule?
Keith Barhams, stay-at-home dad, Elkhart:
"It should stay the same because it’s the doctors that are pushing these kids on pills. Every time they express themselves, they want to tell them there is a problem with them, and put them on some medication, so they’re literally walking around in a different state of mind anyway." Follow-up question: If a young man or woman can serve their country at 18, shouldn’t they be able to drink? "Yeah, but if they pass that, then they ought to let us smoke weed then, because I don’t see too many accidents with the weed, but they won’t let us do that. There are more accidents with alcohol than there is weed."
Ruth Yeomans, part-time garden center worker, Union, Mich.:
"Well, I think it’s reasonable." Follow-up question: If a young man or woman can serve their country at 18, shouldn’t they be able to drink? "And that’s where I have a problem with that, because I agree. They’re able to give their life, why can’t they have a drink, so I have mixed feelings on that."
Tony Cinelli, funeral home associate, Elkhart:
"I don’t think it matters where they set the age at, you can see right now they’re getting around it, they’re beating it out. So matter what you impose on them they’re going to get around it, whether it’s 18 to drink or 25 to drink. Where there’s a will, even though it’s an ill will, there’s a way."
Brandon McNeill, construction worker, South Bend
"I think it’s good (that) you got to be 21 to drink." Follow-up question: Why do you think 21 and not 18? "Because I guess at 18, you can still be in school and drunk at 18." Follow-up question: So you think that you shouldn’t be able to drink in college legally? "Yeah and no, because college kids tend to get a little wild."
Judy Rinehart, retired musical instrument worker, Elkhart:
"Well, I think that’s soon enough. I don’t think they should drink sooner than that. I don’t drink, so it’s hard for me to judge for somebody else. I don’t think drinking is good for you, but to each their own. I don’t criticize." Follow-up question: Why do you think 21 is the right age? "Well, supposedly you’re supposed to be adult by then, but some kids are, and some kids aren’t."
June Crow, jury appraiser, Elkhart:
"I don’t think kids should be drinking, it’s as simple as that." Follow-up question: When’s a good age? Do you think 21 is the right age? "I think 25 is the right age."