Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Cannabis Black Market Has A Kill Switch, And We Know What It Is

We keep hearing over and over again that the black market for cannabis comtinues to persists despite legalization for several years in several states.  And we also are learning that this black market is selling notoriously tainted counterfeit THC vape products which are the primary cause of the "mystery" vaping lung illness now known as EVALI.  National legalization should really be a no-brainer at this point.

But why does the black market persist so tenaciously even in states like Colorado and Washington that have had legal recreational sales for over five years now?  The answer is overtaxation and overregulation, particularly in terms of retail licensing fees and quotas.  And the kill switch for the black market is thus really quite simple:

So what to do?  Cut the taxes on cannabis, yesterday, for at least a year or two before raising them again.  Consider a complete tax holiday for a few months, like Oregon did when legalization began there.  Ease up a bit on licensing regulations (and fees) for both producers and retailers.  Allow at least all liquor stores to sell weed alongside their booze, and further consider allowing any store that sells cigarettes to also sell weed as well, including grocery and convenience stores.  Lower the age limit to 18, yesterday.  Encourage current black market dealers to "go legit", by giving amnesty to unlicensed sellers and allowing them to obtain retail licenses.  And once these things are done, then crack down hard on what remains of the black market, particularly the illegal commercial growers and higher-ups in the illegal businesses and organized crime syndicates.

Problem solved.

And of course, fully legalize cannabis at the federal level as well.  Period.

Of course, once the black market is dead and gone, then by all means, tax away.  But now is NOT the time for overtaxation or overregulation.

So what should the tax on cannabis be?  To start with, we at Twenty-One Debunked believe it should be no higher that $10/ounce for bud and $2.50/ounce for trim at the production/cultivation level, with no other taxes aside from regular sales tax.  Consider a three-month tax holiday as well, like Oregon did in 2015.  Then, after the first year or two, the tax should be no higher than $50/ounce for bud and $15/ounce for trim, much like it is in Alaska today.  As for concentrates and edibles, those are best to tax based on THC content, e.g. 1 cent/milligram of THC.

Indeed, recent studies in both the USA and Canada do bear this out.  Allowing a legal alternative to the black market will out-compete with the latter, but only if the price of legal cannabis flower remains below about $14/gram.  Above that threshold, adult customers will readily switch back to the black market if it is the cheaper option, at least in the first few years post-legalization.

As for the price elasticity of demand for cannabis, that has been a controversial topic, but recent studies find that it is relatively inelastic at low prices, but becomes quite elastic at high enough prices, implying an "elastic zone" above some threshold (in one study, $15/joint, or about $30/gram based on the study's half-gram definition of a joint) for high-quality weed.

Interestingly, some other studies find cross-elasticity between alcohol, tobacco and cannabis among young people, such that raising the cigarette tax and even the beer tax can lead to reduced cannabis consumption.  Thus, any fears that falling cannabis prices will lead to more teen use can be addressed by simply raising the taxes on the other two substances in the meantime, before the cannabis black market is eradicated.  (Which will also decrease the use of alcohol and tobacco as well, by the way.)

Remember, there is really no good reason why cannabis needs to be regulated any more stringently than alcohol or tobacco.  After all, while it is not completely harmless for everyone, the fact remains that by just about any objective, rational, scientific measure, cannabis is safer than alcohol, tobacco, most prescription drugs, aspirin, and even Tylenol, while it is less addictive than coffee.  Thus our laws and regulations need to align accurately with reality, since facts > feelings, even in a "post-truth" society.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

One Weird Trick Reduces Binge Drinking on College Campuses By Nearly 10%

Clickbait-y title aside, a recent study confirms what we at Twenty-One Debunked have always known.  When examining substance use trends among college students from 2008-2018, it was observed that recreational cannabis legalization was associated with nearly 10% LESS "binge" drinking by students over the age of 21.  That is of course not surprising, given that alcohol and cannabis tend to be substitutes, and the legal age limit for both substances is 21 in all such legalization states so far.  No such effect was observed for students under 21, and no other effects were observed on trends for any other substance use (including nicotine use, illicit drug use, and prescription stimulant, sedative, or opioid misuse) among students under or over 21, except for a modest increase in the (mis)use of sedatives among students under 21 (but not over 21) for whatever reason. (So much for the long-debunked "gateway" theory).

We at Twenty-One Debunked believe that if the age limit was lowered to 18 for both alcohol and cannabis, the benefits of the aforementioned reduction in "binge" drinking would extend to students under 21 as well.   In any case, cannabis legalization looks like a net public health win on balance.

So what are we waiting for?

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Federal Smoking And Vaping Age Is Now 21 (Part Deux)

As we had noted a little over a week ago, Congress raised the federal age limit for the sale of tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21 as part of a must-pass budget bill to avoid yet another government shutdown, and on December 20, 2019, Trump signed it into law, and even had the GALL to brag-tweet about it.  And while Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch "Awkward Turtle" McConnell, a big supporter of the age limit hike, was no doubt very pleased with himself for his "victory", we need to remember that both parties overwhelmingly supported it.  Tyranny is apparently as bipartisan as it is whimisical--and very cowardly as well.  And of course, Big Tobacco and Big Vape overwhelmingly supported it like the cowardly quislings that they are.

If that wasn't bad enough, it looks like the FDA isn't wasting any time in implementing the raising of the tobacco and vape product sale age to 21.  As of December 27, 2019, they officially noted on their website that it is now illegal to sell tobacco or vape products to anyone under 21.  They could have waited up to 180 days to formulate new regulations plus an additional 90 days before enforcing them, according to the new law, but apparently even that very small mercy is somehow beneath them.  And of course there is no grandfather clause either in this disgusting new law, nor will there be in the FDA regulations.  In other words, 18-20 year old young adults in a whopping 31 non-21 states (and several territories) who were legal to buy cigarettes and vapes just a week ago are suddenly banned from buying them now.  Talk about adding insult to injury!

And of course the new federal 21 law also applies just as much to our men and women in uniform, despite a few Tobacco 21 states having the small mercy to carve out an exception for them.  The new federal law has NO such exceptions, and is really a slap in the face of so many of our troops.  You know, kinda like the 21 drinking age has been for over three decades now.

The only silver lining to this ageist abomination is that it may very well anger enough Americans to challenge it in court, and if successful, we may get the two-for-one special of getting that other ageist abomination, the 21 drinking age, struck down as well.  And possibly even for cannabis too, though federally there is no such age limit (yet).  Otherwise, there is really no upside to this new law.  All it will do is effectively create an even more massive black market and greater disrespect for the rule of law.

In fact, it may very well drive many teen and young adult nicotine vapers back to smoking, since even with strict enforcement, regular cigarettes will be at least somewhat easier to get than vape products due to the difference in the size of the markets, general accessibility, and the design of the products.  Talk about a lose-lose proposition for public health!

As a wise man once said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside.  Rather, if we lose our freedoms, it is because we have destroyed ourselves from within."  That wise man, Abraham Lincoln, did not use those exact words it turns out, but his words came very close nonetheless.  And that (mis)quote turned out to be very prescient indeed, as America really seems to be rotting and rusting from within.

The song "21 Guns" by Green Day comes to mind, as does the song immediately following it on the same album, "American Eulogy".  And of course there's also Five Finger Death Punch, with "Stranger than Fiction":

"It's stranger than fiction, how [we've] decayed..."

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Vaping Lung Illness Mystery Has Been Solved

Looks like the "mystery" vaping lung illness (now called EVALI) has been largely solved.  And the primary culprit is indeed the same one that Twenty-One Debunked and many others had long suspected several months agoVitamin E Acetate, a common additive found almost exclusively in black-market and counterfeit THC (and probably some gray-market CBD) vape cartridges.  Though harmless when ingested orally or applied topically, when inhaled it is apparently a different story:  this "thick and greasy" oil, and perhaps also its byproducts upon heating it to high temperatures, can indeed cause serious lung damage, and quickly.  It certainly does NOT belong in the lungs at all!  And both samples of vape cartridges as well as (more recently) samples of lung fluids taken from EVALI patients now confirm such suspicions, as noted recently by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  But we could have told you that a while ago.

The illness was apparently quite rare before June 2019, when the epidemic apparently exploded, peaked in September, and sharply declined thereafter.  In other words, this was not a trend, this was an event.  Something had clearly changed about vaping between 2018 and the first half of 2019.

Prior to 2019, Vitamin E Acetate was not widely used in THC vape products, whether legal or illegal, and according to cannabis industry insiders it first emerged as a cutting agent for products made in late 2018 at the earliest.  It may very well have been used before that, but if it was it was too rare to be of any concern or on anyone's radar.  But then, the black-market and counterfeit THC vape product purveyors discovered that this cheap additive can be used to dilute (or "cut") the expensive THC distillate oil while (unlike with other, thinner cutting agents) still maintaining a thick enough consistency to fool unsuspecting buyers into thinking it is purer than it really is, and thus greatly increasing the profit margins.  Yes, you read that right--for filthy lucre.  And they now have a ton of karma to answer for.

And while there apparently have also been some bad actors in the legitimate cannabis market that used this additive here and there, the fact remains that it has been quite rare overall.  And there is still no evidence that Vitamin E Acetate was ever used in any nicotine-containing vapes, whether legitimate or counterfeit.  (Note that those EVALI patients who reported "only nicotine" vaping and not THC may not have been entirely honest.)  In other words, it is fundamentally a black-market and counterfeiting problem that is best solved with legalization and sensible regulation, not blanket prohibition or overregulation.

There may very well have been other additives to blame as well, along with heavy and hard metals leaching from the heating coils of janky devices.  And perhaps some statistical flukes thrown in for good measure.  But these other minor culprits are basically sideshows compared with Vitamin E Acetate, and again the best solution is legalization and regulation of such products and devices, not prohibition.

Of course, that would make too much sense.  But truth is always the first casualty in any moral panic.

And really, SHAME on anyone (politicians, pundits, regulators, and activists) who cynically and disingenuously used the horrendous and hellish suffering of the over 2500 EVALI victims (and over 50 deaths) as a ploy to push their hateful and regressive prohibitionist agendas, while essentially hiding or denying the real cause of the illness for several months, before finally admitting it well after the epidemic had peaked.  You had a chance to save so many lives and prevent so much suffering, but you chose to sit on it, because reasons.  You now have just as much blood on your hands as the aforementioned bad actors that chose to adulterate their products with questionable additives for filthy lucre.  What you did was unforgivable in our view, but you now have a chance to make amends (albeit belatedly) to keep your karma from getting any worse.  So what are you waiting for?  Legalize and regulate yesterday!

JANUARY 2020 UPDATE:  The latest CDC report confirms yet again that the vast, vast majority of EVALI patients, among those for whom data is available, reported obtaining THC vapes from "informal" sources.  And while the anti-legalization lobby seized upon the finding that 16% of those reporting THC vaping reported obtaining their products from "commerical" sources, keep mind that that figure also includes unlicensed pop-up shops that may appear legitimate but are not, and there is always the possibility of recall bias when more than one product is used or shared.  Again, the real solution is to legalize, regulate, and root out the bad actors, not to categorically ban cannabis or vaping.

(For those who are interested, the hypothesized underlying chemistry of how exactly Vitamin E Acetate can cause EVALI can be found here and here.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Kids Are Still (Mostly) Alright in 2019

The latest 2019 Montoring the Future survey results are in.  And while the mainstream media are hyping this year's significant increase in teen vaping (of both nicotine and cannabis), they seem to be glossing over the good news.  For example, teen alcohol and (combustible) tobacco use have both plummeted to record lows, prescription drug abuse (especially opioids and amphetamines) is way down (in contrast to adults), and nearly all other substances (even heroin, again unlike adults) have held steady this year at relatively low levels compared with previous decades.  The one notable exception is LSD (acid), which showed a modest increase this year, but still remains far lower than it was before 2000.

Even cannabis use in general held steady overall this year, and while "daily" (i.e. 20+ days/month) use did see a modest increase this year for grades 8 and 10, in grade 8 it was no higher than it was in 2011 (prior to recreational legalization in any state) and is still quite low.  And keep in mind that for grades 8 and 10, data only go back to 1991, unlike grade 12 which goes all the way back to 1975. Thus, one can extrapolate based on grade 12 data that "daily" use for grades 8 and 10 are also both most likely far lower than they were in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as we know to be the case for grade 12.  And actual, true daily use (i.e. literally every day) is likely even lower still as well.

Even the vaping data are a bit outdated now, since the MTF survey was taken in the spring of 2019, at least several weeks or months before the new "mystery" vaping illness (now called EVALI) outbreak was suddenly announced during the summer.  Since then, the widespread fear of this scary but fortunately now-waning epidemic has likely reduced the popularity of vaping in general, so next year's data will likely be significantly lower than it was in early 2019.

Additionally, the data from another survey, the NSDUH, show that past-year and past-month cannabis use in general has been stable or declining for years for 12-17 year olds nationwide, even as it has been modestly and steadily rising for both 18-25 and 26+ year olds in recent years, and as it has become increasingly legal and socially acceptable to use cannabis and admit to doing so.  The same survey also finds that rates of cannabis use disorder (i.e. abuse/dependence) have been steadily declining for 12-17 year olds since the pre-legalization era, and have been relatively stable for 18-25 (undulating plateau) and 26+ year olds (flat) overall since 2002.

But don't expect the fearmongering mainstream media to tell you that, of course.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Have A Safe And Happy Holiday Season

(This is a public service announcement)

It is that time of year again when the holidays are upon us, and many of us Americans (and around the world) will be celebrating with alcohol and/or other substances.  We at Twenty-One Debunked would like to remind everyone to be safe and celebrate responsibly.  There is absolutely no excuse for drunk driving at any age, period.  We cannot stress this enough.  It's very simple--if you plan to drive, don't drink, and if you plan to drink, don't drive.  It's really not rocket science, folks.  And there are numerous ways to avoid mixing the two.  Designate a sober driver, take a cab, use public transportation, crash on the couch, or even walk if you have to.  Or stay home and celebrate there.  Or don't drink--nobody's got a gun to your head.  Seriously.  And the same goes for other psychoactive substances as well, and a fortiori when combined with alcohol.

ARRIVE ALIVE, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!!   If you plan to drink, don't forget to think!  The life you save may very well be your own.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Federal Smoking And Vaping Age Has Been Raised To 21

Well, it's now official.  As part of a must-pass budget bill to avoid yet another government shutdown, Congress attached several provisions unrelated to spending, most notably a rider that hikes the federal age limit for the sale of tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21 nationwide.  And on December 20, 2019, Trump signed it into law, and even had the GALL to brag-tweet about it.  And while Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch "Awkward Turtle" McConnell, a big supporter of the age limit hike, was no doubt very pleased with himself for his "victory", we need to remember that both duopoly parties overwhelmingly supported it.  Tyranny is apparently as bipartisan as it is whimisical--and very cowardly as well.

For practical purposes, the new age limit actually takes effect after 180 days plus an additional 90 days, meaning an effective delay of nine months from the date of signing.  Thus, by September 2020, Tobacco 21 will have been fully phased in nationwide.

The text of the new federal Tobacco 21 law does two things:  1) amends the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2019 by changing "18" to "21", and 2) while it technically no longer forces states to change their own laws (unlike the original version), nonetheless amends what was once called the Synar Amendment by requiring states to enforce (against vendors) the new federal age limit of 21 for the sale of tobacco and vape products, in order to quailfy for certain substance abuse prevention grant monies.

Though weaker than its original version, it is that second provision that may prove to be the Achilles heel of this law if it were to be challenged in court, on both Tenth Amendment as well as Fourteenth Amendment.  And if such a challenge ever proves successful, it will no doubt also overturn South Dakota v. Dole, and the National Minimum Drinking Age Act along with it.  But until then, it is long past time to be very, very angry at what passes for "leadership" in America's long, dark night of the soul.

Winter is coming, in more ways than one.

UPDATE:  Looks like the FDA isn't wasting any time in raising the tobacco and vape product sale age to 21.  As of December 27, 2019, they officially noted on their website that it is now illegal to sell tobacco or vape products to anyone under 21.  FEH.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Anti-Legalization Movement Is Grasping At Straws Now

The anti-legalization movement in regards to cannabis has been getting quite desperate lately.  For example, Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Project SAM has lately been disingenuously harping on the mystery vaping illness (now called EVALI) and shifting the spotlight onto legal cannabis vape products from licensed dispensaries while glossing over that inconvenient fact that the vast, vast, majority of the over 2000 EVALI cases so far are linked to black-market and counterfeit THC vape cartridges (as well as sketchy gray-market CBD vape cartridges).  In fact, non-legalization states have had far more EVALI cases than legalization states, though no state seems to be immune to it.  And the primary culprit appears to be Vitamin E Acetate (and possibly other questionable additives), and perhaps even the heavy metals from janky devices, as opposed to the actual cannabis itself, though he slyly glosses over that as well.  The biggest irony, of course, is that banning legal cannabis dispensaries will only drive even more consumers to the black market, thus pouring gasoline on the raging fires of EVALI.

In other words, Kevin Sabet and Project SAM are nothing more than concern trolls, and need to be taken with at least a grain of salt, if not a whole pound.  While there have been a few outlier cases of EVALI ostensibly linked to legal cannabis products from licensed dispensaries in some states, most of these cases remain either unconfirmed and/or the use of black market, counterfeit, or modified vape products has not been entirely ruled out in such cases.  To the extent that any of these are in fact caused by rogue and adulterated products from bad actors in the legitimate cannabis market, the solution is better regulation and oversight, NOT prohbition.

(In the meantime, it is probably best for the time being for current cannabis vapers to switch to dry-herb vaporizers, which have never been linked to EVALI or any other illness, to vape regular weed if you don't want to smoke it, just to be on the safe side.  Or at the very least, do your research and due diligence, and avoid all black-market, counterfeit, janky, suspect, and/or modified products like the plague.  And there are also edibles and tinctures.)

Oh and by the way, the anti-legalization movement is apparently also tainted with some thinly- and not-so-thinly-veiled anti-Semitism as well.  Not everyone of course, but as the Labour Party in the UK has unfortunately learned the hard way, failing to condemn it, turning a blind eye to it, or even creating a mere perception of same, has the same impact as deliberate and overt Jew-hatred and Jew-baiting does, and we know impact > intent.  And of course, the anti-Semitism in the broader cannabis prohibitionist movement goes back to at least Nixon and his notorious red-baiting and Jew-baiting conspiracy theories, while the movement's virulent racism and xenophobia in general goes all the way back to the very genesis of the movement over a century ago.

To be fair, there is no evidence that Kevin Sabet (or Project SAM in general) personally holds any anti-Semitic or racist views, with their only known bigotry being against cannabis and its users.  But in the broader cannabis prohibitionist movement today, others like Roger Morgan et al. DO apparently hold enough anti-Semitic views to be willing to openly repeat (if not concoct) long-since debunked anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (mainly involving George Soros) all the same, and the silence from Sabet and Project SAM (who just so happen to also share a connection with Morgan) is truly deafening indeed.

To the cannabis prohibitionist / anti-legalization movement, we have one question for you:  how does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?  Because we wouldn't know anything about that.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Are Americans Really Inferior To Europeans?

One common objection to lowering the drinking age to 18 in the USA is that "Europeans can handle a lower drinking age, but Americans can't".  People say this all the time without realizing the irony of it all.  They are literally implying that Americans are inferior to Europeans (and Canadians, etc.), while these are usually the same people who love to shout that America is the "greatest country in the world", often in the same breath with a straight face.

Silly, right?  And when asked to elaborate, they will likely say that Americans don't know the meaning of moderation and are lacking in self-discipline, often citing our legendary high obesity rate as "proof".  But by that logic, we should bring back Prohibition for all ages, right?  After all, there is nothing magical about 21.  But we saw what a failure that was.  And by the same token, the 21 drinking age is the greatest alcohol policy failure since Prohibition, and neither one led to moderation, in fact quite the opposite.  Most adults, including 18-20 year olds, will drink regardless.  Turning alcohol into a "forbidden fruit" makes it all the more enticing, and forcing it underground makes it far more dangerous than it has to be.  And infantilizing young adults will only lead them to be...less mature about it.  Who woulda thunk it?

And then of course is the "life is cheap over there" argument, which also does not hold water.  If life is so much cheaper in Europe, Canada, etc, why do they have universal healthcare, stronger social safety nets, generally better educational systems, higher life expectancies, and lower poverty rates than the USA?  That's because life is really NOT cheaper over there after all.  Again, who woulda thunk it?

And then there is the old chestnut that "we don't have the public transport infrastructure to handle young adult drinking like they do".  It is technically true that the USA is a car culture and our public transportation is inferior to most of Europe's, but the same is true for Canada, and they set their drinking age at 18 or 19 depending on the province.  Ditto for Australia and New Zealand, who both set it at 18, and there are still some parts of Europe, particularly areas of the UK, where you need a car to get around for the most part.  Besides, if our public transportation infrastructure cannot handle 18-20 year olds, they would be even less able to handle the much larger 21+ age group as well, and once again, all roads either lead to either Prohibiton for all or legal drinking for all adults, period.  If you give the ageists enough rope...

How about the idea that Americans are too ethnically and racially diverse to handle drinking at 18?  Not only is that, well, racist, but even if that dubious claim were true, it would also be an argument for Prohibition or greater authoritarianism in general.  Same goes for other specious arguments about Americans having less "social capital" and being too hyper-individualistic compared to other countries, as well as arguments about "affluenza" and "spoiled children", and also arguments about "family breakdown" and a "nation of semi-orphans".

Note that the typical "kids today" arguments often contradict one another.  And even if one were to concede that "kids today" are more infantilized compared to both previous generations as well as the rest of the world, which is debatable though it seems to have some merit, the solution is NOT to infantilize young adults even further still!  The road to serfdom is indeed paved with the ostensibly "good intentions" of "protecting" young people (from themselves), which is gradually expanded to include older and older age groups with every passing generation it seems.  And what better time than now for a U-turn?

And lest anyone trot out the "21 saves lives" argument, keep in mind that that has also been debunked as well by numerous studies, and most thoroughly and eloquently so by Miron and Tetelbaum (2009).  Even if it were true, surely the old joke about having a speed limit of 21 and a drinking age of 55 would save even more lives, and yet no sane person would propose such a thing.  Gee, I wonder why?  Funny how "if it saves one life, it's worth it" and "think of the children" seems to only apply when it's convenient for the dominant age group in society.

Let America be America again, and lower the drinking age to 18.  If you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to go to the bar.  'Nuff said.


Friday, November 29, 2019

What If We Can't Lower The Drinking Age Anytime Soon?

Perish the thought, but it looks like the utterly vile and ageist abomination that is the 21 drinking age will not be lowered to 18 (or even lowered at all) anytime soon.  It's plain to see that the movement to lower it has completely run out of momentum by now, and the movement to raise the smoking/vaping age to 21 has unfortunately only gained momentum in recent years, and with no signs of stopping.  And while the cannabis legalization movement still has enough momentum, unfortunately all US states (though not Canada) that have chosen to legalize it so far have chosen 21 as their legal toking age.

Does that mean our movement is dead, never to rise again?  Of course not, but our movement is in a sort of "dark night of the soul", apparently, and a very long one too.  Depressing as it sounds, we must realize that it is always darkest before the dawn, and we must redouble our efforts to tackle the 21 drinking age while the country is hopelessly distracted by tobacco and especially vaping these days.

One bright spot among recent trends is the increasing tendency towards criminal justice reform.  We may be able to use that to our advantage, in fact.  If we can't lower the drinking age right away, we can at least reduce the harm by decriminalizing underage drinking (and smoking and toking), reducing it to a mere infraction (ticket) offense (if there are to even be any penalties at all) without any arrests, criminal penalties, or criminal record, bypassing the criminal justice system entirely.  Some states, such as New York and DC, already have that in place for alcohol, while many other states are still quite draconian by comparison.  We should also seize upon the trend towards reducing or eliminating driver's license sanctions for non-driving related offenses, and apply that to underage drinking (and smoking and toking) as well.  We should re-prioritize law enforcement resources towards retail sellers rather than young buyers and users, and make "underage" drinking (and smoking and toking) by 18-20 year olds the lowest law enforcement priority.  And of course, in our zeal to lower the drinking age to 18, we must not throw people under 18 under the bus in the name of cowardly political expendiency in that regard either.

And of course, we need to prioritize cracking down on drunk driving, drunk violence, drunk vandalism, rape and sexual assault, and other serious stuff like that at ANY age, not the mere victimless "crime" of responsible drinking by 18-20 year old young adults.

So what are we waiting for?