Stanford University President John L. Hennessy is to be commended for his desire to address incidents of alcohol abuse on campus. However, while well-intentioned, policies that single out distilled spirits but ignore beer or wine suggest that some forms of alcohol are “softer” than others.
Such an approach sends a dangerous message to college students that is not supported by scientific evidence. Efforts to address harmful drinking should be comprehensive and recognize that the consequences of alcohol abuse are attributable to the consumption pattern, not the type of alcohol consumed.
We stand ready to work with universities in reviewing their alcohol policies and would urge them to utilize the best available science and proven strategies in formulating their positions. It’s important to recognize that all forms of alcohol can be consumed responsibly and all forms can be abused.