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The drinking age debate

   Lowering the drinking age to 18 is a real hot-button issue, and while some of the country's most prestigious colleges are starting the discussion, there hasn't been an overwhelming interest in formally jumping on that bandwagon. Read the story here.

   Only 130 … out of the 4,000 two- and four-year institutions in the U.S. -- actually signed onto the Amethyst Initiative, a formal movement calling on lawmakers to begin a serious national debate on lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18.

   Privately, though, college presidents -- whether they agree with 18 or 21 -- say they welcome the discussion.

   For years, college leaders have struggled with how to handle and enforce a legal drinking age of 21, a very unpopular law among young adults -- most of whom are probably going to drink regardless.

   In the end, it's up to lawmakers, and it will be interesting to see if anyone takes up the controversial issue and runs with it.

   If you remember, it was growing public interest in curbing drunken driving deaths, that led Ronald Regan in 1984 to sign the Uniform Drinking Age Act, mandating states to raise the drinking age to 21, or lose federal highway funds.

    -- Jay Rey

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