About us

Welcome to the Amethyst Initiative, where we champion a thoughtful reevaluation of U.S. alcohol policies in the context of higher education. Founded on the belief that the current legal drinking age may not effectively curb irresponsible alcohol use among young adults, we advocate for a public, informed debate on this issue. Our approach is research-driven, focusing on realistic and public health-oriented strategies. By uniting educators, health professionals, and policymakers, we strive to promote safer, more responsible drinking environments on college campuses nationwide.

drinking age

Legend of Amethyst and its relationship with the Project “The Amethyst Initiative”

According to Greek legend, the god named Dionysus, the God of vines and celebration, was angry with disdain of humans. Therefore, he made an oath that he would kill all people who confronted him. He made a trap by using tiger to eat the person who confronted it. The person who passed his trap would be eaten by his tiger. 

Finally, that day happens. The person who passed his trap was a beautiful woman named Amethos. At that time, she was sending sacrifices to Artemis. Artemis did not have enough time to help Amethos escape the Dionysus trap, so Artemis used magic to change her to quartz.

Dionysus repented of his action, so he cried, and his tear fell into the quartz of Amethos. The quartz change the color from white to purple. 

Believe of Amethyst

It is believed that amethyst is the gem that can prevent drunkenness. If amethyst is used to make glass, the person who drinks from this container will not be intoxicated. 

Why was Amethyst used as the name of the project?

The Amethyst Initiative originated because of the belief that amethyst quartz can prevent people from getting drunk. Amethyst quartz is consistent with the project, so amethyst was used as a name of the project. 

Why Amethyst

Choose Responsibility and The Amethyst initiative

Choose Responsibility and The Amethyst initiative

What is Choose Responsibility?

Choose Responsibility is a non-profit group in the US which works to raise public awareness of the risks related to young adults drinking excessively and carelessly. The main objective is to provide information to the public to decrease the minimum legal drinking age. Dr. John McCardell, Jr., the president emeritus of Middlebury College, founded it and serves as its director.

Purpose of Choose Responsibility

Choose Responsibility has looked at a number of industrialized nations where the drinking age is under 21, but where the scientific consensus is that how people drink is more responsible than in the United States. According to the organization, today’s drinking rules stimulate immature conduct and “infantilize” young adults. As a result, it advocates for laws that, in its opinion, would provide young adults—between the ages of 18 and 20—the freedom to decide for themselves how much alcohol to consume. According to Choose Responsibility, the effectiveness of present-day drinking regulations is contrasted with the shortcomings of Prohibition-era legislation in preserving and enforcing a decrease in alcohol consumption.

The relationship between Choose Responsibility and The Amethyst Initiative

In the past, the law imposed a drinking age of 21 years old in The United States. Choose responsibility believes that the drinking age at this age is not good for The United States. There are many problems with drinking at this age. Amethyst Initiative originated from Choose Responsibility to request lawmakers to have debates about the minimum age of drinking age.

Our Approach

We take a research-based, public health-focused approach. We aim to counter ineffective prohibitionist policies with nuanced regulations rooted in facts and science. Some of our key activities include:

  • Publishing policy research papers and opinion pieces
  • Lobbying state legislatures and Congress
  • Engaging media to promote public discourse
  • Building coalitions with public health organizations
  • Speaking on campuses and at national conferences

Our Mission and Vision

  • It is grown to over 135 chancellors and presidents of colleges/universities that have signed on in support of an informed public debate on the drinking age.
  • She has published 12 peer-reviewed research studies and policy papers on the impacts of minimum legal drinking age laws.
  • Launched a nationwide “Rethink the Drinking Age” campaign with events at over 60 campuses.
  • Over 500 media mentions and interviews discussing the Amethyst Initiative’s mission and research.
  • She testified in 7 state legislature hearings on bills related to lowering or allowing flexibility in the state drinking age.
  • We have partnered with 25+ national public health and safety organizations on a collaborative underage drinking prevention project.
  • We reduced binge drinking rates by 10% and alcohol-related incidents by 15% on campuses participating in our pilot Moderate Alcohol Education Program.
  • 75+ universities have adopted campus policy or curriculum changes recommended by the Amethyst Initiative.
  • $1.5 million in new funding was raised and used to expand our research, advocacy, and education programming nationwide.

Get Involved

  • Volunteer with your local Amethyst chapter to help with community outreach events, campus speaking engagements, research, and more.
  • Donate to support the initiative’s advocacy work, research, and education programs. Donate online or by mail.
  • Subscribe to email updates and action alerts to stay informed on MLDA news and ways to help.
  • Follow the Amethyst Initiative on social media and share posts with your network.
  • Display a sign or poster promoting the initiative at your school, university, or local business.
  • Order Amethyst brochures, stickers, and flyers to share with community members and spark productive discussions.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about why you support the initiative.
  • Contact your state legislators to urge support for bills that allow flexibility in MLDA laws.
  • Host a community town hall or campus event to engage others on the drinking age debate.
  • Ask your place of worship, club, or civic group to donate or hold a fundraiser for the initiative.
  • If you’re an educator, use the provided curricula to teach students about MLDA history and its impacts.

Address : 10 E Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
phone : 202.543.8760 
fax : 202.543.8764

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