College presidents from about 100 of the nation's best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth, and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.


The movement, called the Amethyst Initiative, began quietly recruiting presidents more than a year ago to provoke national debate about the drinking age.


"This is a law that is routinely evaded," said John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, who started the organization. "It is a law that the people at whom it is directed believe is unjust and unfair...

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