Gina N. California


Our age law should be consistent on when we want a person to be an official adult or not. Drinking and smoking age should be 18 or being an official adult and joining the army age should be 21.

Dear President, 

Once you're declared 18, you are officially an adult. As an adult, all your contracts, bills, any businesses, etc. are under your name. You can vote, you must pay for taxes, and you can make a will. You have the option of donating your organs and you are responsible for end-of-life decisions. 

However, once you are 17, you can enlist in the army. When joining the army, it is an indirect statement that you are sacrificing your life. Meaning, at the age of 17, you already have the option of putting your life on the line for others even though you aren't an official adult yet. 

In 1984, the National Drinking Age Act states that you must be at least 21 to serve, sell, or consume alcohol. A state does have the option of lowering their drinking age, but they will lose up to 10% of their federal highway funding. 

In 2016, California's smoking age increased from 18 to 21. 

In England, their drinking, serving, and selling alcohol age is 16. In 2014, they had 8,697 alcohol relating deaths. While in the US in 2014, 9,967 deaths was recorded to drunk driving. 

If we do not want to compare to another nation, then the argument of consistency still stands. It should be okay for us to be able to decide to risk our life before being an official adult for the army when we do not have the option of being able to smoke or drink when we are officially an adult. 

It's either make the official adult age 21, or give the full legal rights from drinking, smoking, owning a home, joining the army, etc. to an 18 year old.