Apparently some states are thinking of lowering the "drinking age."
Personally I think the very existence of a "drinking age" is a net negative as it builds a myth that getting drunk is part of being an adult.
Completely eliminating the drinking age would have the effect of throwing children to wolves as there is subclass of human that seeks to take advantage of the young and inexperienced.
There are people who get kids drunk or stoned to take advantage of them.
The classical liberal approach to governance realizes that there is a freedom paradox.
A free society cannot give people the freedom to violate the liberties of their neighbors.
Alcohol diminishes self control. The wolves who ply children with drugs and alcohol are using chemicals to violate the freedom of the kids they target.
Since alcohol diminishes self control, I think the best approach to the question of drinking is to figure out how to structure the introduction of alcohol so that people gain control over alcohol before alcohol gains control over them.
I think it would be worthwhile to discuss concepts such as "Drinkers' Education" or a "Drinker's Permit" as ways to mitigate the damages caused by a set "drinking age."
Drinker's Education might take of the form of simply allowing wine and beer tasting events that do not require IDs. The events would have to have a built in safe guard to prevent over consumption. Drinkers' education might also take the simple form of allowing anyone to order a single drink with a meal at a restaurant without ID.
The "Drinkers' Permit" concept falls along the idea that people should learn about alcohol and its dangers and ease into drinking rather than waiting for some magic drinking age event where people drink in excess, lose self control and risk falling into the hands of manipulators.
It ideals of liberty is no some maniacal belief that we should throw children to the wolves hoping that the survivors will come out stronger. It is a realization that a society restrained by self-control is stronger than one depending on state control.
I believe that our drinking age and drug laws have made our society worse. The laws have created and funded a subculture where people where children and manipulated and drawn into addiction by the worst elements of our society.
That drinking laws are destructive does not mean that all alcohol laws are destructive. Imagine a rogue who plies kids with drugs and takes advantage of them. This rogue element is engaged in a base violation of the liberty of the targeted victims.
A person who violates others by plying them with drugs is doing as much if not more damage than a person who breaks your front window then walks off with your TV.
The discussion of eliminating these destructive laws must acknowledge the dangers of substances which diminish self control. A society of drug addicts is not a free society as the addicted are slaves to the pushers of addiction.
The concepts of "drinkers' education" or of a "drinker's permit" would fall into the moderate view favored by the US founders and the classical liberal tradition which promoted moderation and avoidance of paradoxes.
I would prefer the development of structures to promote self promotion before lowering the "drinking age," for lowering the drinking age does little more than change the age of the group that engages in in binge drinking.