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The clerk may have misspoke. Keep in mind that the control of alcohol and tobacco is a very strict set of procedures. If a cashier or business owner believes that an individual is buying beer/cigarettes etc for a minor they can and will refuse to sell it to you at all. If it was not a case of miss-communication the clerk may have simply misunderstood the policies provided to her at training. Working in a gas station once myself we were given a set of signs to watch out for, a minor carrying alcohol or cigarettes was one of them. Stores will do this because there can be serious repercussions for the clerk and even the owner if it is discovered they sold beer to an adult who was buying it for a minor