Supporters of the federal minimum argue that the human brain continues developing until at least the age of 21. Alcohol expert Dr. David Hanson of the State University of New York at Potsdam argues such assertions reek of junk science. They're extrapolated from a study on lab mice, he explains, as well as from a small sample of actual humans already dependent on alcohol or drugs. Neither is enough to make broad proclamations about the entire population.
Oddly enough, high school students in much of the rest of the developed world -- where lower drinking ages and laxer enforcement reign -- do considerably better than U.S. students on standardized tests.Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, there are proposals to raise the drinking age to 21 to tackle the binge-drinking epidemic.
* This is not counting some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, where the drinking age is infinity.
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