Change booze culture or pay the price – Garth George

 NZ Herald Feb24, 2011
While we fizz about food prices, fume about the unnecessary replacement of the ministerial car fleet and chuckle (or sneer) at the continuing ructions in the Maori Party, an issue vital to the future of this country has pretty much slipped under the radar….For all of my youth and much of my early adulthood the legal purchasing age was 21 and I firmly believe that it should return to that, with the only exception that children over 18 be permitted wine and/or beer when dining out with their parents. Furthermore, it should be illegal for anyone to supply liquor to anyone under 21, except for parents to their own children over 18 in their own home. A comprehensive written submission, commissioned at considerable expense by Family First, will recommend that the legal drinking age be raised to 21. …Dr Sigman reports that early alcohol consumption can cause several sorts of brain damage, reduce brain size, cause genetic changes, impair brain function, affect risk and impulse control, cause liver damage and affect fertility. Which is why the United States Government has insisted that all 50 states raise their minimum drinking age back to 21. So should we.