Another Way Prohibition Kills


Over at Students for Sensible Drug Policy's DARE Generation Diary, Tom Angell notes one side effect of setting the legal drinking age at 21 and thereby driving most college drinking underground: When students overdose on alcohol, their friends may be reluctant to call for help because they're afraid of getting into trouble. Angell cites the 2004 alcohol poisoning death of University of Colorado at Boulder freshman Lynn Bailey, whose fraternity brothers dithered until it was too late. "After Bailey's death," USA Today notes, "the Colorado Legislature enacted a law that grants immunity to anybody drinking illegally who calls 911 to get help for a drunken friend." A similar problem occurs when people overdose on heroin or other illegal drugs, and in those cases there's no magical age that can protect you from criminal charges.