Loco Over Four Loko

The moral panic behind the ban

Timothy Leary noted that "psychedelic drugs cause panic and temporary insanity" in people who have never tried them. The same can be said of Four Loko, the drink that federal regulators banned last week amid a nationwide fit of hysteria about "a toxic, dangerous mix of caffeine and alcohol" that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned was "spreading like a plague across the country." A fruity, bubbly, neon-colored plague.

The main knock against Four Loko, which is less potent than Chardonnay, is that the caffeine masks the alcohol's effects, leading people to underestimate their impairment and drink more than they otherwise would. Two studies have found that college students who drink alcohol combined with caffeine tend to consume more and take more risks than college students who drink alcohol by itself.

Neither study clarified whether the difference was due to the caffeine or to the pre-existing tendencies of hard partiers who are attracted to drinks they believe will help keep them going all night long. But that distinction did not matter to panic-promoting politicians and their publicists in the press, who breathlessly advertised Four Loko while marveling at its rising popularity. Like other officially condemned intoxicants, Four Loko was linked to a disfavored group—reckless, hedonistic "young people"—and everything about it was viewed in that light.

Over and over again, fear-mongering officials and hyperbolic reporters cited two incidents—one at Ramapo College in New Jersey, the other at Central Washington University—in which students who drank Four Loko were taken to the hospital. These 15 students, most of whom seem to have been drinking other alcoholic beverages in addition to Four Loko, represent something like 0.015 percent of the 100,000 or so 18-to-20-year-olds who make alcohol-related visits to American emergency rooms each year. Yet their drunken stupidity was repeatedly presented as evidence of Four Loko's unique dangers.

Likewise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration counted 13,800 alcohol-related fatalities in 2008. It did not put crashes involving Four Loko drinkers in a special category. But news organizations around the country, primed to perceive the drink as unusually hazardous, routinely do. Three days before the Food and Drug Administration declared Four Loko illegal, a 14-year-old stole his parents' SUV and crashed it into a guard rail in Denton, Texas, killing his girlfriend. Here is how the local Fox station headlined its story: "'Four Loko' Found in Deadly Teen Crash."

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (who will soon join Schumer in the Senate) calls Four Loko a "witch's brew," and apparently it really does have magical powers. Although one 23.5-ounce container has less alcohol than a bottle of wine, news reports call it "blackout in a can." ABC News implies that a single can, containing as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, can trigger a fatal heart attack in a perfectly healthy person.

The New York Times reports that Four Loko, which features a drug combination familiar to fans of Irish coffee or rum and cola, "has been blamed" for causing a 20-year-old Florida college student to shoot himself in the head. A CBS station in Philadelphia said a middle-aged suburban dad suffered "a hallucinogenic frenzy" featuring "nightmarish delusions" after a can and a half, while another CBS affiliate in Baltimore said two cans made a 20-year-old "lose her mind," steal a friend's pickup truck, and crash it into a telephone pole. Under the evil influence of this demonic drink, the St. Petersburg Times reports, a 21-year-old in New Port Richey, Florida, broke into an old woman's house, trashed the place, stripped naked, and took a dump on the floor.

Despite such alarming reports, the FDA did not conclude that alcoholic beverages containing caffeine, which are made by dozens of companies, are inherently unsafe. Instead it focused on Four Loko's manufacturer and three other companies that "seemingly target the young adult user," who is "especially vulnerable" to "combined ingestion of caffeine and alcohol"—and too dumb, apparently, to mix vodka with Red Bull.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2010 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Cuddly Soft Balls of Death||

    Good Morning, reason!

    So, umm, one of the problems with the "blackout in a can" is the caffeine, which prevents one from actually blacking out? Is that about the size of it?

  • Xenocles||

    The blackout comes later, when you realize you drank so much you can't remember part of the time you were conscious and drinking.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "I did what?"

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, a related Scorpions song.

  • -||

    "In a democracy we regular citizens don't make mistakes. We never get in a car and step on the wrong pedal and run people over. Somebody does these things to us....You can't blame us."
    -P.J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores

    Updated for the '00s: "In a democracy we regular citizens don't make mistakes. We never drink irresponsibly, get in our cars and kill people. Somebody does these things to us. Somebody at Phusion Projects. The FDA must protect us from Phusion Projects."

  • MrGuy||

    Thanks for clarifying that for us Ted.

  • MrGuy||

    Thanks for clarifying that for us Ted.

  • a penny a day keeps Obama away||

    Good morning - a bleek obummer to you!

  • a penny a day keeps Obama away||

    Not a pretender - just changing my handle

  • robc||

    The lamest people on the internet are those who change their handle.

    Sure, as a one off joke its fine, but not as a regular dealy.

  • phalkor/pancakes/waffles||

    ahh man. I think I just got told.

  • More than once Phalkor et al ||

  • slutmonkey||

    It's hard to have an argument with yourself and win if you can't change handles.

  • assbag||

    You're exactly right slutmonkey

  • a penny a day keeps Obama away||

    I'm going to find that book about the Swiss during World War 2 (The Swiss, the Gold and The Dead) and read a few chapters.

  • a penny a day keeps Obama away||

    Since the money (gold) was stolen from people before and during the war, I'd say that is during the war. They did hide it afterwards though. Like I said before, I rarely recommend a book that isn't about libertarianism rctl.

  • a penny a day keeps Obama away||

    And I was actually thinking about the book Nazi Gold which I read around that same time.

  • ||

    The FDA hasn't "banned" Four Loko. The manufacturers of the product and others like it could have appealed the FDA's probable intent to ban the products. The makers of Four Loko have stated their intent to change the formula voluntarily in compliance with the FDA's safety concerns. They could have fought the FDA's arbitrary findings. Instead, they caved.

    http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/.....234109.htm

  • ||

    In their acquiescence to the FDA's demands, Phusion Projects has all but admitted culpability in the deaths and injuries of scores of Americans who are now suing them. Instead of fighting the FDA and defending their rights and their property, they are making themselves into sacrificial lambs. This case is but one instance of how the regulatory state is strangling free enterprise and assaulting fundamental human rights.

  • ||

    Oh, I don't know. It could just be a matter of picking your battles. Take the decision to remove the preservative thimerosal from vaccines, despite the fact that there was zero credible evidence to link thimerosal to autism. At the time, the anti-vaxxer movement trumpeted the move as a tacit admission of guilt, but the fact that autism rates have continued to rise in the intervening decade despite thimerosal no longer being used is one of the most powerful pieces of evidence that the "mercury/autism" hypothesis was bullshit all along.

    Similarly, if Phusion Projects' reformulation of their beverages doesn't result in the disappearance of the incidents ascribed to "old" Four Loko, that will serve as strong evidence that the "old" Four Loko wasn't the source of the problem to begin with.

  • Wind Rider||

    They don't care how you do it, just get the damned train through the tunnel!

  • Joe M||

    They're going to remain it Miracle Loko.

  • Joe M||

    ReNAME it. m0ar coffeee.

  • robc||

    My brain corrected and I loled.

  • waffles||

    just don't Irish it or you are headed for a world of pain and an ER visit.

  • Mr Whipple||

    When do we ban model airplane glue, and Toluol?

    "Can I see your license to purchase organic vapors".

    Four Loko was linked to a disfavored group—reckless, hedonistic "young people"—and everything about it was viewed in that light.

    Young people are the only ones who can drink it. I'm 44, and if I drank that shit, I'd be in the hospital with a perforated ulcer. It sucks getting old.

  • T||

    In Texas, you have to be over 18 to purchase spray paint.

  • Rich||

    I believe that's true in many states. But a kid can buy a 5-gallon bucket of paint. Go figure.

  • Thomas O.||

    Are bartenders gonna be banned from making Rum & Cokes now? O_O

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't care; I still blame dancing for all this mayhem. Kids shouldn't be allowed to dance.

  • Jennifer Grey||

    No shit! Ban that Palin kid

  • ||

    It's the music those kids listen to, I tell ya. Seductive lyrics and rhythms like Johnny Mathis and Pat Boone. That's what's wrong with our young people.

  • Leroy||

    It all started when we allowed women to wear pants.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Idle jazz hands are not the devil's playground.

  • the right does it too||

    Hell, I'm 54 and tried it. No perforated liver. Yet. But I can't seem to see out of my left eye...and my toes are numb.... do you think tha

  • waffles||

    oh dear, four loko claims another hapless victim through their wanton greed and disregard for consumer safety.

    thank goodness somebody is suing to make sure this doesn't ever happen again. truly we are blessed to have such concerned citizens and an agency as thoughtful, pragmatic, and efficient as the FDA. this Thanksgiving I will sing the praises of our Dear Government for protecting us from another assault on our precious American lives.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Meh, that's just the diabeetus acting up.

  • Mr Whipple||

    and too dumb, apparently, to mix vodka with Red Bull.

    NoDoze and Mad Dog is cheaper. We're talking about college kids here, and if you live in a state like Ohio, you can buy MD in a convenience store, and vodka (over 40 proof) has to be purchased at a State Store (unless they changed it since I lived there).

  • ||

    Or just get it in a bar

  • ||

    Good point, except that's not Ohio. Everyone knows things in Vegas don't apply to the "real world."

  • Esteban||

    Ooh I was there in August, I think the pool special was $4 rockstar vodkas. Safe to say, I took advantage of that.

  • Sarcasmo 2000||

    © Copyright 2010 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

    Great article, Jacob. Say, do you mind if I paste it into my blog and call it my own? I've been copying your articles for years with the intent of publishing a book someday. I'd write it myself but I don't have the time or the talent. So, is it OK with you? What about Creators Syndicate? Would they have a problem with that? I can't give you or them credit or anything. And it's only intellectual "property" anyway, which, as every enlightened libertarian knows, doesn't really exist. So you're cool with that? Thanks!

  • robc||

    wrong thread dude.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Valid point though.

  • robc||

    Not in this thread.

  • robc||

    Also, exact same point was made in correct thread, so this isnt even original.

    And it was smacked down appropriately* in that thread.

    *nothing hypocritical about playin' within the system ya got, even if its not the system you want. I drive on government roads too.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The other thing is, I can't recall a Sullum column on IP. (He may well have written one, I just don't remember). It's usually Jesse Walker who writes about those issues, and he's generally anti-IP, IIRC. But at least one writer made the point that there's no general "Reason" policy of being anti-IP. The writers pick and choose their own topics.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Bad analogy. We all paid for those roads, and have little choice but to drive on them. Nothing is stopping Reason or anybody else from publishing without copyright restrictions, without penalty.

  • robc||

    See BakedPenguin's comment.

    Assuming that reason has a policy is as bad as assuming I signed the social contract.

  • Realist||

    None of the worthless shit articles posted on Reason are original either.

  • Sarcasmo 2000||

    it was smacked down appropriately

    No, you were smacked down, repeatedly, but you kept getting up for more. The ref should have called it.

  • robc||

    All that thread proved is that a large number of so called libertarians favor slavery.

    I own all products of my mind. That is a fundamental principle of libertarianism.

  • robc||

    Logic for those who cant follow thru on their own:

    1. Self-ownership
    2. Since I own myself, any ideas I have I also own
    3. If I mix those ideas with my labor and raw materials I own and means of production I own, any products created I also own.
    4. If I own a product, I can give, dispose of, or sell it as I see fit (with standard force/fraud limitations).

    Therefore anything that prevents this is robbing me of the fruits of my labor and is slavery. Ergo, IP == slaverey.

  • robc||

    slaverey, with an extra e for extra slavery.

  • Sarcasmo 2000||

    You're really John, aren't you?

  • robc||

    Not even close. I think John favors IP, for one thing.

    So, which of the 4 steps is wrong? Because if none of them are, then we are in agreement.

  • Realist||

    But great none the less!!!!

  • Sarcasmo 2000||

    Not wrong thread. There are no rules here. This is H&R!

    Copyright 2010, Reason Magazine

  • Sarcasmo 2000's Confessions||

    "There are no rules here. This is H&R!" While I'm at it, I may as well tell you I have a small dick, and I love to read
    here

  • Warty||

    Speaking of madness, have Nicolas Cage losing his shit. "I'm a vampire! I'm a vampire!"

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wouldn't a clip from Leaving Las Vegas have been more suited to the thread?

  • Kolohe||

    There's at least one scene from LLV in the mash up.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, but I wanted total drunken stupidity.

  • Joe M||

    One thing that's comforting in the "'Four Loko' Found in Deadly Teen Crash" article is that most of the comments slam them for being extremely skewed in their presentation of the information.

  • ||

    I am glad the government is there to keep us safe. I mean, sometimes when I go grocery shopping, I will buy things that I shouldn't and if 4Loco was there I would have bought it. It's NEON people! NEON!
    I don't want to have to explain to my wife why I took a dump on the neighbor's living room floor. Thanks Big Brother!

  • Cyto||

    That's hilarious. You just triggered a memory of the greatest opening line in the history of movie reviews. For your entertainment, I offer the Filthy Critic on "How the Grinch Stole Christmas":


    Someone shit under the Christmas tree, and this year it wasn't me. It was that bastard Ron Howard, he snuck into my house and dumped a furry green load right there next to the Buck Knife from my parents and the copy of "The Difficult Husband" from Mrs. Filthy's grandmother.


    Now that's how to write a lede, people!

  • ||

    The stuff is awful...

  • Planet Moron||

    I've been, er, "researching" Four Loko this week, purely in the interest of science, and so far the only legitimate grounds that I've found for banning it would be that it tastes revolting. Otherwise, it's Irish Coffee in a can. I have to wonder, if Phusion products came out with canned martinis, would the FDA determine that they unlawfully adulterated gin with vermouth?

    Not that you would want to ruin a perfectly good martini with vermouth...

  • robc||

    Its not a fucking martini without vermouth. People who cant appreciate a properly wet martini (or who put vodka in it - gah) ummmm...dont know where that insult was going.

    Anyway, I like my martinis like I like my women...ground up and in the freezer. No wait, wrong drink.

  • ||

    Exactly. I don't know why people who like shaken (or stirred) gin with an olive insist that it is a martini.

  • robc||

    Never shake gin. It bruises apparently. No, I dont know how alcohol bruises either.

  • robc||

    So, from spending 10 minutes with google, and combining all the "info, there seems to be two possible explanations:

    1. Bruising is complete bullshit
    2. If anything, shaking causes more aeration which affects the VERMOUTH, leading to slightly "sharper" flavor in the martini.

    #2 explains why you can shake the hell out of a vodka martini, as they rarely have any vermouth. Plus arent martinis.

  • ||

    If vermouth is actually affected by aeration, would the solution be to have it in the glass first, then add the shaken gin?

    Just get rid of the 'tini qualifier. If it's not a martini it's not a 'tini anything. Hell, even a "martini" with an onion isn't a "martini." It's a Gibson.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, God, don't get me started. I am intensely irritated by the trend of calling anything in a martini glass a martini. A martini is gin and vermouth and that is all. And I don't even like them that much.

    "Dry Martinis" (i.e. gin in a glass) are for drunks who don't want to admit that they are just swilling gin/vodka all day.

  • ||

    Amen to that. If it's not gin and vermouth, it's a cocktail, not a martini.

  • Planet Moron||

    You're forgetting the juniper berries. Very fragile.

  • -||

    Oily, brined olives corrupt the drink and make it too salty. People in-the-know (me) keep their olives on the side, or they rinse them in cold water before placing them in the glass. You're welcome.

  • robc||

    Im confused by the phrase "too salty". I dont think that is physically possible.

  • -||

    The salt doesn't bother me as much as the oil. I love olives. I'd marry them if I could. But that oil slick floating on top of a martini is a turn-off.

  • ||

    I've never heard of a 'bruised' martini, but from the context I think I may know what it's referring to. I attended bartending school earlier this year and it was explained that the reason you should always stir a gin martini is because shaking it drops the temperature too fast, and it becomes cloudy. So, as far as I know, it's purely for aesthetics; a clear martini is more appealing than a cloudy one. Vodka, on the other hand, does not get cloudy, so shake away.

  • ||

    Vodka Martini = contradiction

  • Planet Moron||

    I've always assumed that the only reason people started adding vermouth to gin was so that their wives couldn't claim they were just sitting around drinking straight gin, but rather a "cocktail."

    It kind of classes up being a drunk.

  • JD the elder||

    ISTR hearing that during the Depression, most of the gin available was awful stuff, so the vermouth was added to hide the taste. As the quality of gins improved, the amount of vermouth could go down.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...during the Depression, most of the gin available was awful stuff...

    I don't know how you could tell. To me, gin smells like vodka that's been thrown up already.

  • Cuddly Soft Balls of Death||

    I'm glad there are people who can drink gin. I hate to think of it all going to waste. I didn't mind the taste of it, but I could never get past the paint-thinner smell. Is there any kind of gin that doesn't smell like gin?

  • -||

    Try Bombay Sapphire. Their combination of aromatics is delightful, especially after five or six.

  • Kant||

    Hendricks Gin is the greatest thing in the world. http://www.hendricksgin.com/

    smells like cucumbers

  • ||

    I once drank margarita out of a can on an Amtrack train. Not as bad as you might think.

    I'd try martini-in-a-can. You need to find some angel investors to get your idea off the ground.

  • T||

    They sell Black Iguana margarita-in-a-pouch at college football games. It was pretty bad.

  • Joe M||

    Cantini!

  • Planet Moron||

    If I tried to trademark that, would it make me a hypocrite? Or just an IP thief? Both?

  • Joe M||

    You can have it. I don't want the legal liability.

  • ||

    My son is a college junior. A girl he knows wound up in the hospital last week after drinking Four Loko. I personally have no problem with this shit being banned. I am certain that it would have taken this kid longer to drink a bottle of wine (same alcohol content - I get the point) than this sweet caffeine-laced crap. This is dangerous and hard-core partiers will have problems with it.

  • robc||

    Run and coke would have been even quicker. Even after diluting with coke, you are still looking at double the alcohol of wine/4L.

  • robc||

    Rum even.

  • robc||

    In college, a guy on my floor went to the hospital for drinking Jack after receiving one too many job rejection letters.

    No one blamed Jack Daniels in this incident, including his parents. Because he was the fucking moron and everyone knew it.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Wow, that sounds familiar.

    The cooler illusion - wine, beer, and liquor coolers (1990)

    Ah, yes, the seductive danger of wine coolers! How can our gentle youth possibly resist the evil pull of cooled wine? Some even had enticing bits of fruit in them, like you might feed to your toddler. What kind of message does that send?

    Not that this type of panic over some "new" scourge of youth is anything new:

    Absinthe

    In 1905, it was reported that Jean Lanfray murdered his family and tried to kill himself after drinking absinthe. The fact that Lanfray was an alcoholic who had consumed much more than his usual two glasses of absinthe in the morning was either overlooked or ignored; the murders were blamed solely on absinthe.[23] The murders were the last straw, and a petition to ban absinthe in Switzerland was signed by more than 82,000 people. The prohibition of absinthe was then written into the Swiss constitution in 1907.

  • Derp||

    I raged until I noticed the name about halfway through.

  • Xenocles||

    One night when I was a junior in college, I did (as far as I can recall) two tequila shots, about five rum and lemonades, a Manhattan, and a black Russian in the span of about three hours. I weigh 130 pounds. It wasn't the alcohol's fault I woke up in the ER, it was mine for doing the whole hard-core partier thing.

    As long as there's alcohol and fruit juice, there will be easy-to-drink alcohol out there. The stupid shall be punished, and there's no way around it. Tell your son to be careful.

  • ||

    "A girl he knows wound up in the hospital last week after drinking Four Loko"

    How many cans of it?

    What/how much did she drink before that?

    What/how much did she drink after that?

    Did she eat anything before/during/after drinking it?

  • ||

    Give me a vodka and redbull over Four Loko any day of the week. V&Rs; are awesome.

    Banning this stuff is pretty stupid. It's already been pointed out how many other combos of caffeine are perfectly fine, including my own fav; Crown Royal and Cola.

    The main problem seems to be the people stupid enough to buy Four Loko don't need to be pushed too far to do crazy crap.

  • Cyto||

    Note to self: never take gustatory advice from Windtell.

    Red Bull tastes like ass. Putting some vodka in it just means you have ass in your vodka. I prefer my vodka to be ass-free.

  • Anomalous||

    Does Crown Royal work especially well with RC Cola?

  • Expat to Be||

    Yes.

  • MNG||

    Sigh. Some people used it foolishly so we must ban it for all people. Jimminey Crickets I hate that.

    I've had these before, but not much (taste terrible). I can't recall the labeling. I know it says it has caffeine. Perhaps a label that indicates "high caffeine content" would suffice to get everyone off their backs (though it strikes me that the very people who abuse it know that it has such content, indeed it is why they want it).

  • BakedPenguin||

    What's worse is that the media is cherry picking the stories to play into it. I'm sure there were lots of drunken college students who did incredibly stupid shit over the same time span, drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor.

    However, they weren't drinking Four Loko, so they're not news.

  • MNG||

    Tru dat

  • robc||

    Beer+Coke in germany:

    Pils + Cola = Diesel
    Alt + Cola = Krefelder
    Kölsch + Cola = Drecksack

    There might be several other regional words for this drinks

    From random internet search (was searching for the word Radler, as it turns out, but that is more beer and sprite)

  • T||

    I knew a guy who drank a revolting mixture of Yukon Jack, Coke, and beer. It was, as I recall, pretty foul. I think he drank it in part because nobody else would touch that crap.

    The military lets you meet such interesting alcoholics.

  • Zeb||

    Sounds almost as good as the shit I used to make as a kid out of a little bit of everything in the liquor cabinet.

  • Cyto||

    That's great! My (raging alcoholic) neighbor prefers Pabst Blue Ribbon and cheap Merlot 50/50 in a 64 oz. big gulp cup. If it is a strategy to keep me from swiping a sip of his drink, it is a highly effective technique.

  • Rhywun||

    Beer+coke sounds disgusting. But beer+(German versions of lemon soda which are far less sweet than here) is awesome. Drank that a lot when I was living there around age 16.

  • T||

    Ahh, a shandy. I don't drink them much because I usually tend to drink dark ales and stouts. Leinenkugels makes one in the summer that's decent, though.

  • robc||

    No they dont. You know how I know? Because it is Leinenkugels.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Leinie was a decent beer when it was still family owned.

    Now that they are part of some big corporation, they put out abominations like Shandy and ruin my memories of their old flavors.

    I remember when their bock beer came out for 2 weeks in the spring. You either bought it then or you missed out.

  • ||

    I actually might try that, I imagine only once.

    It kind of reminds me when a Nebraska friend introduced me to red beer (beer and tomato juice). At first, I was thinking "not bad." By the end of the beer, the adventure was over.

  • kinnath||

    Four Loko -- Stupid is as stupid does . . . . .

  • Dave||

    Okay, so the problem here is that alcohol and caffeine are being mixed into a single beverage? What a radically new idea, I wish someone had thought to mix a soft drink and liquor in a glass and ... oh wait, I just described the basis for 90 percent of mixed drinks invented since Coke first went on the market. Is the DEA also going to be out arresting bartenders who make a Jack & Coke for their customers?

  • Realist||

    Another great article on a totally unimportant subject. How about one on Bristol Palin and Dancing With The Stars?

  • Rhywun||

    Political hacks love this shit - the more bodies they can mendaciously link to their plague du jour, the better. Nothin' like a crusade to feed one's narcissism. Stupid voters seem to fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

  • BakedPenguin||

    And they have a symbiotic relationship with the media over bullshit like this.

    Hell, they have a symbiotic relationship in any event.

  • Nihixul||

    Crashed into a "telephone poll"? What was the motive behind this? To skew the results? 8D

  • ||

    My ultimate day will be when I see a post combining Four Loko and Insane Clown Posse. That seems like a match made in heaven.

    Also, does every Four Loko entry have to have the obligatory Irish coffee reference? Are the Limeys trying to push for banning Irish coffees? Fascists!

  • ||

    It's fun (in the not-going-to-church sense} so it should be banned.

  • ||

    The FDA banned Four Loko.

    A blast from the (recent) past -

    “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, mitigation of the threat of climate change, and protection of national security.

    Can you guess who wrote that, boys and girls? No peeking.

    I knew you could.

  • Esteban||

    I went to UVA a couple weekends ago and in pregaming before I went out, I had a 4loko and nothing happened to me!!! I even continued to drink after I drank a can!!! And I didn't black out!!!

    This whole thing is ridiculous

  • Ray Pew||

    Guess how long it will take for kids to figure out that if you just buy the caffeine free Four Loko and throw in a 5-Hour Energy shot, you have the original drink?

    Nine-Hour Loko Energy, anyone?

  • ||

    As a rule of thumb take the square root of the number of hours it takes bureaucrats to write a restriction on liberty and multiply by 30 seconds to get how long it takes imaginately teenagers to figure out how to dodge it. Multiply by 15 for dimmer teens or teens who are drunk/stoned at the time.

  • Oneforthehometeam||

    I fucking love it.

  • ||

    I myself would never drink this stuff. I can't stand alcohol and caffeine mixed. But I still think the ban is nanny-state BS.

  • Tex from Britain||

    Yeah, sounds like acid reflux in a can.

  • eam||

    Welcome to the nanny state, kids! Now stop rattling the bars on your crib so we adults can sip our rum & cokes in peace :-)

  • Mensan||

    I was a drunken 21 year old in New Port Richey on many occasions, but I never felt compelled to take a dump on an old woman's floor. However, I was never drunk on Four Loko. Therefore, being a drunken 21 year old in N.P.R. does not, by itself, cause one to crap on elderly womens' floors, so Four Loko must be to blame! Flawless Severely flawed logic!

  • ||

    Sounds like my Irish coffee habit must not be responsible for my long happy family life. But I will continue it.
    Maybe there are more ingredients we haven't talked about yet

  • Whale||

    Sparks Energy(essentially the same thing) have been around for years and nobody ever gave a shit about them, why all the fuss now? Besides, from my experience, any of these so called ENERGY + ALCOHOL!!! branded drinks have tasted like shit anyway, I'm suprised enough people drink them for anyone to take notice.

  • chris||

    As someone who firmly believes in allowing commerce to function with the littlest of government intrusion, I completely support the banning of Four Loko.

    With all the comparisons to other alcohol/caffeinated drinks, what is different is that Four Loko is significantly cheaper than the cost of a bottle of Chardonnay, a Red Bull and vodka mix, or even a cup of coffee itself. This attracts the poor which is only perpetuates the alcohol problems prevalent in that community.

  • ||

    Sounds like you loosely believe in allowing commerce to function with the littlest of government intrusion.

  • ||

    College kid drinks shit loads of coffee and rum--- he's a problematic person that needs our love and support.

    Same kid drinks Four Loko, and he's merely a victim of evil fascist corporations trying to get rich off of his death? hmmm, doesn't make sense.

  • ||

    "a 21-year-old in New Port Richey, Florida, broke into an old woman's house, trashed the place, stripped naked, and took a dump on the floor."
    Ahaha I love the way you wrote this!

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