Morehouse College Withdraws Support For Lowering Drinking Age

Armen Hareyan's picture
College Drinking and Age

Morehouse College president makes statement on Amethyst Initiative and re-considers his support for lowering drinking age.

"After careful re-consideration of the Amethyst Initiative, I am withdrawing my support to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Morehouse does not condone the misuse or abuse of alcohol or illegal substances. While we welcome and encourage spirited public debate about appropriate standards of behavior, we do not support policies that would have the effect of encouraging or making it more likely that younger citizens would use alcohol or drugs.”

-Robert M. Franklin
President, Morehouse College

Recognized as one of the top feeder schools to the 15 most prominent graduate and professional programs in the nation by The Wall Street Journal, called “One of the best Southeastern colleges” by The Princeton Review and ranked “America’s Hottest College for Men” by Kaplan-Newsweek, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men.

Earlier, an organization called Amethyst Initiative, had proposed to lower the drinking age to prevent binge drinking in colleges and universities.

Here is the Amethyst Initiative Statement

It’s time to rethink the drinking age

In 1984 Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which imposed a penalty of 10% of a state's federal highway appropriation on any state setting its drinking age lower than 21.


Twenty-four years later, our experience as college and university presidents convinces us that…
Twenty-one is not working

A culture of dangerous, clandestine “binge-drinking”—often conducted off-campus—has developed.

Alcohol education that mandates abstinence as the only legal option has not resulted in significant constructive behavioral change among our students.

Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.

By choosing to use fake IDs, students make ethical compromises that erode respect for the law.
How many times must we relearn the lessons of prohibition?

We call upon our elected officials:

To support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21 year-old drinking age.

To consider whether the 10% highway fund “incentive” encourages or inhibits that debate.

To invite new ideas about the best ways to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol.

We pledge ourselves and our institutions to playing a vigorous, constructive role as these critical discussions unfold.