AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The legal drinking is 21, but that does not stop lots of underage people from drinking. Decades ago, it was legal to drink in Massachusetts at the age of 18, and a new proposal being advanced would seek to reduce the drinking age once again.
Residents in the 3rd Hampshire House District will be able to vote on a nonbinding ballot question on whether the age to purchase and consume beer and wine should be lowered to 19 years old. Under the proposal, the legal age to consume hard liquor would remain 21.
The vote would have no immediate legal effect. If passed, it would simply show to the district’s state representative that a majority of constituents would favor such a change in the law.
The question reads:
“Shall the representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that lowers the drinking age to 19 for wines and malt beverages and maintains the drinking age at 21 for all other alcoholic beverages?”
It takes 200 signatures to get a non-binding question on the ballot in a house district. Anyone can turn in the petition, so long as the signatures are legitimate.
The 3rd Hampshire District includes all of the towns of Amherst and Pelham, and the northern half of the town of Granby. It is currently represented by Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst), who is retiring. Democrat Solomon Israel Goldstein-Rose of Amherst is the only candidate listed on the ballot in that district this year.