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The Dangers Of The Drinking Age
Forbes ^ | Apr 15, 2009 | Jeffrey A. Miron and Elina Tetelbaum

Posted on 04/16/2009 2:05:18 PM PDT by zaphod3000

For the past 20 years, the U.S. has maintained a Minimum Legal Drinking Age of 21 (MLDA21), with little public debate about the wisdom of this policy. Recently, however, more than 100 college and university presidents signed the Amethyst Initiative, a public statement calling for "an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21-year-old drinking age."

SNIP

Our research compares traffic fatality rates in states before and after they changed their MLDA from 18 to 21. In contrast to all earlier work, however, we examined separately the impact in states that adopted an MLDA21 on their own and those that were coerced by the FUDAA.

The results are striking. Virtually all the life-saving impact of the MLDA21 comes from the few early-adopting states, not from the larger number that resulted from federal pressure. Further, any life-saving effect in those states that first raised the drinking age was only temporary, occurring largely in the first year or two after switching to the MLDA21.

Our results thus challenge both the value of the MLDA21 and the value of coercive federalism. While we find limited evidence that the MLDA21 saves lives when states adopted it of their own volition, we find no evidence it saves lives when the federal government compels this policy.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: alcohol; drinking; drinkingage; neoprohibition; opinion
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1 posted on 04/16/2009 2:05:18 PM PDT by zaphod3000
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To: zaphod3000

so I guess we should raise it to 35?


2 posted on 04/16/2009 2:07:04 PM PDT by GeronL (TYRANNY SENTINEL. http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: zaphod3000

If your old enough to get your @$$ shot off in Iraq, your old enough to have a cold beer, in my book. 18 should be the drinking age.


3 posted on 04/16/2009 2:07:30 PM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Vaquero

The local bars in the small town where I grew up would let military enlistees drink before they were 21. It wasn’t legal but it was just that kind of place.


4 posted on 04/16/2009 2:09:50 PM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: Vaquero

We aren’t as strict about drunk driving as we need to be. Don’t blame the bottle, blame the nut behind the wheel.


5 posted on 04/16/2009 2:10:03 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: zaphod3000
A copy of Does the Minimum Legal Drinking Age Save Lives? can be downloaded here.
6 posted on 04/16/2009 2:11:09 PM PDT by zaphod3000 (Free markets, free minds, free lives)
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To: Vaquero

You are absolutely right. It’s a joke that an 18-year old can sign up for lethal combat in Iraq, but has no right to order a beer — or soon, even buy a pack of cigarettes. What a joke.


7 posted on 04/16/2009 2:13:12 PM PDT by Elpasser
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To: Vaquero
If your old enough to get your @$$ shot off in Iraq, your old enough to have a cold beer, in my book. 18 should be the drinking age.

I've been saying that since they raised it!!!

8 posted on 04/16/2009 2:13:39 PM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: Vaquero

I have found that teenagers and booze just don’t mix. The age limit doesn’t prevent them from drinking though.


9 posted on 04/16/2009 2:13:49 PM PDT by misterrob (FUBO----Just say it, Foooooooooooooo Bohhhhhhhhh. Smooth)
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To: zaphod3000
We should lower it to 12 because they're gonna do it anyway.

And every beer should come with a free condom so if it do something stupid when you're drunk, you can do it safely.

10 posted on 04/16/2009 2:15:48 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weight-lifting sessions each week and...)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Actually, we exaggerate the risk of intoxicated driving and it is a tool of the state.

In my hometown they set up a monthly DUI roadblock. They catch about 3 DUIs, but incidentally stop another 290-300 people on other non-DUI offenses. The cash cow is the other people and we earn garner hundreds of thousands this way.

Now, what is happening to the other DUIs during the other 28, 29, or 30 days a month. Nothing.

It is a cover story for the tax collectors. Our police forces are essentially meter maids for the welfare state.

11 posted on 04/16/2009 2:15:50 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: zaphod3000

I wonder what good money paid for the study?

Of course the early adopter states to 21 would see a reduction, as the 18-20 year olds went into neighboring states where they could drink legally. Once every state was forced to adopt then rates evened out again.


12 posted on 04/16/2009 2:15:55 PM PDT by oldpass
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To: GeronL

Neah. Ban it altogether. That worked so well during Prohibition.
For that matter, the minimum legal drinking age does such a good job at preventing under-aged individuals from getting beer, wine and liquor.


13 posted on 04/16/2009 2:16:18 PM PDT by Little Ray (Do we have a Plan B?)
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To: zaphod3000
Just more MADD people!

Can't have anybody enjoying themselves, you know! /sarcasm

I remember driving down to DC to visit the Cellar. I was 18, and could drink legally. Darn, I even drove back home! I'm amazed I kept making it, and never had a wreck!!! (NOT!)


14 posted on 04/16/2009 2:16:31 PM PDT by WVKayaker ( God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist.- Arth. C. Clarke's shortest story)
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To: wolfpat

ping for later


15 posted on 04/16/2009 2:17:15 PM PDT by wolfpat (Revolt, and re-establish the Constitution as the law of the land!)
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To: Vaquero

My state had a 18 year drinking age when I was that age...but has since succumbed to the standard 21 years of age.

I worked in the local hospital at age 17 in the evenings after college classes. I wore the white uniform of the place....and after work I went to the local bar and being I had the uniform I was served. I do believe the statute of limitation are up on that crime though.


16 posted on 04/16/2009 2:17:20 PM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: misterrob

Wish we could find out what would. So much time of youth is spent vomiting and partying. We need more teetotalers.


17 posted on 04/16/2009 2:17:26 PM PDT by NinoFan
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To: 1010RD

I mean, when we catch them the “normal” way. I’m not a big fan of road blocks.


18 posted on 04/16/2009 2:17:43 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: zaphod3000
At the E club on Ft Huachuca you only have to be 18 to drink. I spent many a night there...

However, that might be because so many of the soldiers were going to Mexico to drink, alot were getting killed in accidents on the drive home.
19 posted on 04/16/2009 2:18:45 PM PDT by Frogtacos (It all went to hell when we started cooking outside and crapping inside.)
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To: zaphod3000

I grew up in New York when the drinking age was 18, and that was just fine. The important thing is to set social boundaries for what is acceptable. Being disgustingly drunk at any age - 18, 21 or 60 - is not okay.


20 posted on 04/16/2009 2:20:11 PM PDT by livius
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To: Tanniker Smith

Don’t forget free needles so the kiddies can experiment with heroin without getting HIV.


21 posted on 04/16/2009 2:20:31 PM PDT by NinoFan
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To: misterrob
I have found that teenagers and booze just don’t mix.

An odd factoid: alcoholism is less among American Jews of orthodox observance (who make frequent use of moderate amounts of ceremonial wine, starting at teen ages) than among the general population where they live. A moral framework surrounding the use of alcohol lessens its abuse.

22 posted on 04/16/2009 2:22:30 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Beat a better path, and the world will build a mousetrap at your door.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Me neither. It is just more big brotherism and we fall for it because it is THE LAW.

The concept of the law must be objective and easily understood. Instead it is manipulative.

We say, “We are a nation of laws”, but it is not true and hasn't been for most of the 20th century. Populism and special interests have made us a nation of men who use laws to feather their own positions.

Government needs to be neutral in the area of most human affairs. God did it in 10 commandments. Why do we need millions?

23 posted on 04/16/2009 2:22:44 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: misterrob

The government makes big bucks harassing anybody that even has a beer on their breath,although not legally intoxicated. Ditto for towing companies and shyster lawyers.


24 posted on 04/16/2009 2:23:36 PM PDT by Minutemen ("It's a Religion of Peace")
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To: Vaquero

I’m afraid that the ONLY young people who DO NOT indulge in underage drinking are those that just plain obey the law. There are those who don’t drink and will NEVER drink but they are never a problem.
The difficulty is that those who intend to drink, legally or illegally, somehow find a way to obtain it. This is where the binge drinking excitement overcomes any good sense the young drinker may have. I’ve heard young people say, “have another drink, we got to finish the bottle then toss it away, and we don’t want to waste any.”
The “thrill” of the “forbidden fruit” is so very tempting to the young..part of their rebellion.
I don’t like the young drinking, but I don’t see much success in the “LAW” stopping it.


25 posted on 04/16/2009 2:24:06 PM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views)
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To: Tanniker Smith; Vaquero

I think the age at which they’re a legal adult is perfectly reasonable.


26 posted on 04/16/2009 2:24:33 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: Vaquero
My state had a 18 year drinking age when I was that age...but has since succumbed to the standard 21 years of age.

In Illinois it used to be 19 for beer and wine, 21 for the hard stuff. They raised it in 1980, I believe, effective January 1. A friend of mine turned 19 on December 27 of 79 and had four days to legally drink, then had to wait two more years. On New Years Eve he went to a liquor store and they guy just laughed when he saw his ID, saying "Man, they sure screwed you."

27 posted on 04/16/2009 2:25:42 PM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep
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To: zaphod3000
The drinking age was 18 when I was growing up in Wisconsin in the early 70s. I was able to have a beer with my pizza before heading to my (Catholic) high school to attend a basketball game. It was no big deal. Sure some abused alcohol, and there were younger kids sneaking drinks when they could. (I recall riding my 10-speed bicycle to a local bar and being served at the age of 16.)

There were very few run-ins with the law. I never heard of any drunk driving arrests or alcohol-related auto accidents. Your parents were a bigger concern, and belive me they monitored our consumption and behavior.

28 posted on 04/16/2009 2:26:30 PM PDT by PackerBoy (Just my opinion ....)
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To: 1010RD

>We say, “We are a nation of laws”, but it is not true and hasn’t been for most of the 20th century.

Agreed:
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dv698tm_22dr6x3nfb


29 posted on 04/16/2009 2:27:56 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Little Ray
For that matter, the minimum legal drinking age does such a good job at preventing under-aged individuals from getting beer, wine and liquor.

Prohibition for college students has worked almost as well as the War on Drugs.

30 posted on 04/16/2009 2:28:03 PM PDT by GunRunner
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To: HiTech RedNeck
An odd factoid: alcoholism is less among American Jews of orthodox observance (who make frequent use of moderate amounts of ceremonial wine, starting at teen ages) than among the general population where they live. A moral framework surrounding the use of alcohol lessens its abuse.

Not odd at all imo. I have mixed feelings on this issue. When my Mom was growing up in Italy there was no drinking age. The attitude there is totally different. My Nonna would send her out to buy a bottle of wine (at age 8 or so), and on the way home my Mom would take a few sips because she liked the taste. When she was a teen here in the U.S. one of her uncles wanted her to taste beer or something so she wouldn't be curious and get herself into trouble elsewhere.

I don't know if no age limit would work in the U.S. I agree with other posters who say it is about attitude.

From a psychological perspective, what is forbidden becomes more attractive, at least for teens. I don't have any answers as to what the right way is for the U.S.

31 posted on 04/16/2009 2:33:15 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah (The government turns every contingency into an excuse for enhancing power in itself. - John Adams)
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To: zaphod3000

I wish people didn’t drink so damn much.
I’ve seen no good come from it in my life experience.


32 posted on 04/16/2009 2:33:35 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: zaphod3000
The argument to lower the voting age to 18 was; you can serve in the military and you can drink.

Now, years later, they raise the drinking age to 21 but 18yr olds can still serve in the military and vote.

So,you can be responsible enough to serve in the military and vote, but not responsible enough to have a drink.

Sheesh.

33 posted on 04/16/2009 2:38:12 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: zaphod3000; Vaquero
It could be that the reason fatality stats are significantly different only in the states that changed the age voluntarily is that those states actually ramped up enforcement, whereas the others just changed their laws to pay lip service to the feds and keep their federal money, but did nothing additional on enforcement.

That said, I agree 100% with Vaquero and others here that if you're old enough to serve and old enough to vote, you're old enough to do other legal adult things, too.

34 posted on 04/16/2009 2:40:18 PM PDT by Emile ("If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything" -- Unknown)
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To: zaphod3000

The 21 drinking age law is useless....the kids either get the booze, anyway...or just turn to drugs.

The 18 drinking age would actually foster a little more alcohol responsibility at a younger age

Note that “binge drinking” never was a serious problem until the age was raised to 21. The higher drinking age kept college students out of bars (where they would drink less, since it would be more expensive per drink) and into buying it bulk at a liquor/grocery store thru a friend 21/over


35 posted on 04/16/2009 2:40:56 PM PDT by UCFRoadWarrior (The Biggest Threat To American Soverignty Is Rampant Economic Anti-Americanism)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

The problem at colleges is worse now with the 21-year age limit, because it forces drinking off campus, to parties where there is no supervision. If there had to be drinking at college parties, it was safer when it was relegated to the campus.

And, if the freshmen and sophomores are caught, they face having a legal record follow them around for the rest of their lives.

Even a mother in New England who permitted a party at her house where beer was served, with close supervision (including no driving afterwards), found herself in trouble with the law because her guests were legally underage. (Whereas, if she had just let them party elsewhere with no supervision, she’d have been just fine as far as the law was concerned—no matter how much less safe that would have been for everyone else.)


36 posted on 04/16/2009 2:41:27 PM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

An odd factoid: alcoholism is less among American Jews of orthodox observance (who make frequent use of moderate amounts of ceremonial wine, starting at teen ages) than among the general population where they live. A moral framework surrounding the use of alcohol lessens its abuse.

Alcoholism is least in any population of religiously observant peoples who spend over $1000 plus per years on tithes (fees) to their religious community.


37 posted on 04/16/2009 2:51:46 PM PDT by Chickensoup ("Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.")
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To: Emile

“It could be that the reason fatality stats are significantly different only in the states that changed the age voluntarily is that those states actually ramped up enforcement, whereas the others just changed their laws to pay lip service to the feds and keep their federal money, but did nothing additional on enforcement.”

In addition, it’s more likely that states with “a problem” ie. high rates of <21 alcohol-related deaths were the most likely to adopt stricter laws. Once that approach was extended to states with much smaller problems (e.g., I’m guessing alcohol-related deaths in Utah are much lower due to cultural reasons), those states saw little or no improvement in their already-low fatality rates.

One size does not fit all. Maybe we should pass a law forcing all policymakers to learn this basic fact.


38 posted on 04/16/2009 2:57:42 PM PDT by DrC
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To: zaphod3000
Here,s the thing—I worked in a package store in Connecticut, when the state lowered the drinking age to 18.
A lot of kids are still in high school at that age. They would come in the store and buy booze—legally. I could look through the window and see all their under age friends waiting in the cars. There wasn't a darn thing I could do about it.
39 posted on 04/16/2009 3:09:50 PM PDT by hexpoppy
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To: zaphod3000
Here's food for thought...

We teach children to drive at 15, and give them licenses at 16. But we don't teach them to drink until they are 21, at which point they initially abuse alcohol (at 18 without parents' knowledge) and then drive.

What if we taught them to drink at an earlier age, and once they master that one, we teach them to drive? In other words, drinking age is 16, permit age is 17, driving age is 18?

-PJ

40 posted on 04/16/2009 3:10:54 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (This just in... Voting Republican is a Terrorist act!)
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To: Elpasser; Vaquero
It’s a joke that an 18-year old can sign up for lethal combat in Iraq, but has no right to order a beer

Change the minimum age of military service to 21. There, all fixed! (/kidding)

41 posted on 04/16/2009 3:23:22 PM PDT by T Minus Four (Ashes on the head are for mourning the dead; my God lives, Hallelujia!!)
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To: T Minus Four

The U.S. is the only country in the world with a 21 year old minimum drinking age.

Western Europe 16
Mexico 18
Canada 18 or 19 depending onthe province


42 posted on 04/16/2009 3:28:11 PM PDT by myuhaul
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To: CondorFlight

Again,I just wish people didn’t drink so damn much, Legal and illegal. Why encourage it?

Wish in one hand right?

In my life experience, I have seen nothing but problems because of drinking.
I’ve got no use for it. But of course I have to deal with all the problems because people do. Problems that are unncessary if people werent getting effed up on that stuff.
I hate what it does to people.


43 posted on 04/16/2009 3:34:38 PM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Hulka
My proposal:

Military personnel may consume alcohol at any age, but cannot purchase for off-premises consumption unless 21 or over.

For everyone else the drinking age is 21.

44 posted on 04/16/2009 3:35:36 PM PDT by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: zaphod3000

No other country has a 21 year drinking age. Most are 15-18 and quite a few don’t even have a drinking age.


45 posted on 04/16/2009 3:36:12 PM PDT by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns.)
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To: zaphod3000
My problem with this -- and it was a problem for me because I was under 21 when the drinking age was raised (and under 19 when it happened before that) -- is that their reasoning for raising the drinking age was driving accidents.

So why not raise the driving age instead.

For that matter, New York State makes State Identification cards that look just like Drivers License and are just as official.
Why shouldn't someone with such an ID, who is obviously NOT a driver, be allowed to drink at 18 as they can't cause any auto accidents except by walking out in front of a car?

46 posted on 04/16/2009 3:36:25 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weight-lifting sessions each week and...)
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To: Vaquero

I don’t think there should even be a “legal” drinking age but I’m ok with 18 if we have to have one.


47 posted on 04/16/2009 3:40:22 PM PDT by Twink
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To: zaphod3000

I almost guarantee that if you went up to anyone 19, and asked if they had drank, they would say yes. Even at a conservative college like mine, almost everyone would say yes. We even had rum cake at a retreat for a women’s prayer group. I hate drinking (I’m not 21 yet), is stuck doing it sometimes, (especially when you mistake some one saying cherry instead of sherry, and your 12 year-old brother wants to eat all the soup, after already having a alcoholic drink his aunt gave to him). And when I went to Italy, and roomed with girls all over the US (Chicago, Califonia) I was called Hannah Montana for the fact that I didn’t drink (and actually paid for the stuff I was using).
/sigh


48 posted on 04/16/2009 3:41:48 PM PDT by Toki (The cows go moo, the ducks go quack, and Toki slowly goes mad.)
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To: NinoFan

I wonder if that’s because of the legal drinking age.


49 posted on 04/16/2009 3:44:01 PM PDT by Twink
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To: PackerBoy

When I was a kid, drinking beer, wine, etc. was no big deal. We had homemade wine with every meal. It was during the time I was a teen, late 70s/early 80s that it became this “issue.”


50 posted on 04/16/2009 3:49:15 PM PDT by Twink
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