Four Loko is healthier than fascism

By on November 17, 2010

Sometimes people are stupid, and they drink too much alcohol, and sometimes bad things happen to them. This has happened in a few highly publicized incidents with the caffeinated malt beverage Four Loko. And this, of course, has given government officials and college administrators a chance to do what they do best: not mind their own damn business.

After a recent incident in which students got sick after drinking Four Loko in the state of Washington (shocking, I know), the Washington State Liquor Control Board voted to ban “alcoholic energy drinks.” Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire supported the ban.

“Quite simply, these drinks are trouble,” Gregoire said. “By taking these drinks off the shelves we are saying ‘no’ to irresponsible drinking and taking steps to prevent incidents like the one that made these college students so ill.”

Gregoire’s comments would have really pissed me off if I didn’t already have zero faith in the common sense of our elected representatives. Does she really think this is going to make a dent in irresponsible drinking?

The University of Rhode Island also banned Four Loko earlier this month. In a message to the URI community, Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Dougan said: “Combining stimulants like caffeine and alcohol constitutes a dangerous mix, particularly for young people, because stimulants reduce a person’s sense of alcohol intoxication (i.e., ‘feeling drunk’) and alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time.”

Here’s the problem with Dougan’s reasoning: A can of Four Loko actually has less than half the caffeine of a regular-sized Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. What is it that makes Four Loko so much worse than a Jägerbomb or vodka Red Bull?

For the record, I think that Four Loko tastes terrible. But I also understand that neither the fact that it tastes like crap nor the fact that it makes you really drunk are good enough reasons to infringe upon anyone else’s ownership of their own body.

Read Dougan’s full message here

Comments

About Matt Ciepielowski

8 Comments

  1. Dan Molloy

    November 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Dear Matt,
    I think that people should be able to do what they want, obviously. However, in society, one must cater the lowest common denominator. In this case, it is, in general, 14-20 year olds who don’t know that mixing a stimulant(caffeine) with a depressant(alcohol) is bad. Furthermore, these kids also don’t understand that when you do mix these things, you are more likely to feel less drunk. A University of Florida study showed that students who drank mixed drinks with caffeine and alcohol were more likely to think they were capable of driving than those who drank purely alcoholic beverages. The main problem the drink is facing is the simple fact that stupid people will misuse it and do stupid things with it. Now, I agree with you that it shouldn’t be banned simply on that merit. Although, I don’t believe it is a bad idea at all to take initiative and inform kids and adults about the problems associated with mixing alcohol and caffeine. I think one the secondary problems many of these officials are finding is that the drink, in looking like an energy drink, is often sold to underage kids because the person in charge of the register is painfully unaware of the world around them. Some people can’t tell that it’s an alcoholic beverage, and furthermore some have purchased it for their store/gas station and sold it thinking it was such. So ultimately, you can thank dumb people for being dumb. One could make the argument that these people were under the influence of alcohol and therefore had poorer judgment, but I must argue that alcohol has never once left me feeling completely uninformed about my life.

    Love,
    Dan

  2. AquaBuddha

    November 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Unfortunately, the FDA is expected to announce that alcoholic energy drinks are illegal, and the maker of Four Loko has already announced they will be taking caffeine out of their recipe-
    http://reason.com/blog/2010/11/17/four-loko-bannedby-its-manufac

    Fortunately, someone has put an excellent homemade recipe online-
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/make-your-own-four-loko-homebrew

  3. zefside

    November 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Dan the one major problem with your argument is that 14 TO 20 YEAR OLDS SHOULDN’T BE DRINKING ALCOHOL ACCORDING TO UNITED STATES LAW.

    • Dan Molloy

      November 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Zefside, I hope you’re not that ignorant. Are you?

  4. Dan C

    February 15, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Matt LOVES FourLoko

  5. satan

    February 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    kill the government. end fascism.

  6. Jack Norris

    March 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Actually do kill the government. It may seem like a stretch in a case like this, but this could be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. The government is a viable threat to our security after the Patiot Act was passed. Add this to the Ohio case where they made up lies that a woman was suicidal as an excuse to cavity search her, (and they got away with it), the fact that homeless people are not legally allowed to work or to vote (All you loud-mouthed uneducated wealthy conservatives keep in mind that one quarter of homeless men are Vietnam Veterans you idiots), the fact that…just a whole line of oppressive bullshit, even the little things, like Obama’s cigarette tax…Anybody who tells you to be “greatful you dont’ live in Iran” deserves to be shipped to Iran at gunpoint, because THEY’RE the people making this country suck. Why be greatful we aren’t like Iran when we could be “like The Netherlands before the Muslims came”? That sounds better than “like Iran” OR “like America” you ask me.

    I’m so sick of the LITTLE things the government does to restrict our freedom and keep people down.

  7. ehartsay

    June 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    @Jack Norris

    “homeless people are not legally allowed to work ”

    could you say more about this,please? What is this based on?