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This world map shows how the US legal drinking age is a weird exception

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Spurred in part by the powerful anti-drunk driving movement, by the late 1980s all 50 US states had set their legal drinking age at 21.

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

This is controversial. Why should legal adults—considered mature enough to join the army, get married, serve on a jury, or buy cigarettes (in most US states)—be denied this legal substance?

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Critics argue that age restrictions are remarkably easy to bypass, yet at the same time encourage a dangerous binge-drinking culture. Wouldn’t it be better for teens to learn to drink responsibly at home, rather than at frat parties?

Plenty disagree. But at any rate, Americans are in a small minority when it comes to drinking age.

According to a survey of 190 countries, only 11 other nations—including such bastions of human rights as Mongolia, Iraq and Oman, have a minimum drinking age of 21. Most—61 percent—have a minimum drinking age of 18. No other country in the developed world makes kids wait until they’re 21 to drink legally.

Has the US reaped any tangible benefit from this form of exceptionalism?

This map, from ProCon.org, highlights the divide:

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This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

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At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

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As much of US marks a muted Independence Day, Trump encourages big parties

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While public health officials are urging Americans to avoid large crowds and hold more muted July 4 celebrations amid a spike of coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump is going big for what he is promising will be a “special evening” in the nation's capital.

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