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Archive for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

25 years ago: Increasing drinking age in Kansas has mixed results

March 2, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Mar. 2, 1986:

The legal drinking age in Kansas for cereal malt beverages had risen to 19 in July 1985 and was continuing to rise one year at a time until 1987, when the legal age would be 21. Kansas University administrators were reporting that students appeared to be taking the policy in stride. Problems in residence halls had been “less than I anticipated,” said Fred McElhenie, KU’s director of residential programs. So far, no one had been dismissed from the residence hall system for alcohol-related problems. Tavern owners in Lawrence had experienced a few changes since the law had changed, with at least three local bars closing shortly after the drinking age was raised and one 3.2-beer tavern switching to a private club for the 21-and-up crowd. The 1984 prediction of Ken Wallace, owner of the Jayhawk Cafe at 1340 Ohio, of “Most of the traditional student watering holes here would go out of business,” had not come to pass. However, Wallace pointed out in 1986 that “the students are going to drink. We’re pushing people more and more to go out into the parks, out to the barns and just go out in the streets to drink. [The law] was horribly stupid,” he said.

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