The admission by Harry B. Putnam, chairman of the state liquor control committee, that a twenty-one year age limit upon the sale of intoxicating liquor will almost certainly be embodied in the legislation now being framed is discouraging to those who had hoped for the drafting of a sane law. Although the feeling of the Committee in general is favorable to an eighteen-year age limit, it confesses at the same time that the older limit must be adopted in order to placate the drys, and for no other reason.
To write into the statute books of the Commonwealth, "Intoxicating beverages shall not be sold to anyone under the age of eighteen," will undoubtedly be a distinct shock to the type of people who like to believe that it is not suitable for young men of the age between eighteen and twenty-one to drink, and therefore should not be allowed to. The fact remains, however, that young men of this age do drink, and, what is more, nothing will stop them. It is far more appropriate to discriminate between the school boy and the college man, who is supposedly taking care of himself, than arbitrarily to draw the line at the comparatively unsignificant age of twenty-one.
The impossibility of enforcing such a regulation, finally, must be apparent to all, including the Drys. But at present, the Dry's votes are of concern to the administration, and the Commonwealth must pose as a guardian of morals, while under its very nose the group against which it has legislated will disport itself in the "taverns," and gladly contribute to the revenue Income. If the Democrats put through such an imbecile piece of legislation, they will make themselves the laughing-stock of the very young men whom they hope will cast a vote for their party when they reach the theoretically mature and mellow age of twenty-one.