Drug Policy

Why Does the FDA Hate Rock 'n' Roll?

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Blow is a white powder that comes in a clear resealable vial. "Just add an entire vial of Blow Energy Drink Mix to your favorite beverage and enjoy with a friend," instructs the product's website, which is decorated with scantily clad women who "love blow." In addition to citric acid, "natural flavor," kola nut extract, aspartame, and a whole lot of caffeine (240 milligrams), the mix contains various B vitamins, taurine, L-carnitine, and inositol. In other words, it's pretty similar to a lot of other energy drinks, except for the edgy marketing, which is the same thing that got Redux Beverages, producer of Cocaine brand energy drink, in trouble. Under pressure from the FDA, which considered Cocaine a "misbranded drug" and an "unapproved new drug" because it was marketed as a "street drug alternative," Redux gave up the product's main selling point, its name. The people behind Blow, who go even further in making their product resemble cocaine, can expect similar trouble. They may also be deemed to be violating laws that prohibit the sale of "simulated controlled substances."

As I've noted before, the taboos violated by these companies have nothing to do with consumer protection: The products are safe for consumption, and buyers (assuming they can read) are not being tricked into thinking they're getting something they're not. Such crackdowns are a form of censorship aimed at suppressing controversial drug-related speech and shoring up pharmacological orthodoxy. "The people that are uptight and have a problem with our product are probably the same people that have a problem with rock 'n' roll and rap music and certain television programs," says Blow founder Logan Gola. "They do need to lighten up. Our product is done tongue in cheek, and they can move on and focus on more important issues than Blow." They can, but they won't.

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  1. The people that are uptight and have a problem with our product are probably the same people that have a problem with rock ‘n’ roll and rap music and certain television programs,” says Blow founder Logan Gola.

    I have a problem with rap music being put in the same class as rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, I have a problem with rap music, period – it BLOWS. That is to say – it sucks!

  2. Such crackdowns are a form of censorship aimed at suppressing controversial drug-related speech and shoring up pharmacological orthodoxy.

    True enough, and as a matter of principle they should be opposed. Even so, we shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing that those who market these products are courageously protesting U.S. drug laws any more than the manufacturers of Ouija Boards really believe in the spirit world.

  3. DAR,

    Are you telling me the Parker Brothers are in it just for the money?

  4. I would expect Reasonoids to defend this type of advertizing since my impression is the the major platform of the Libs is freedom to use your drug of choice.

    Do any of you understand the message that sends to impressionable young people? You are basiclly saying it’s ok to use drugs.

  5. it is ok to use drugs. Prove to me why not.

  6. wait, proving a negative is impossible…

    but yes, although drug use is probably harmful and may cause problems for some people, it is no less ok than driving a car or drinking alcohol (not simultaneously!), both of which are rather dangerous activities

  7. I would expect Reasonoids to defend this type of advertizing since my impression is the the major platform of the Libs is freedom to use your drug of choice.

    Do any of you understand the message that sends to impressionable young people? You are basiclly saying it’s ok to use drugs.

    Will someone please think of the children?

  8. robc:

    As the Marxists used to say, it is no accident of history that their best seller is Monopoly.

    JohnD:

    We don’t teach our kids to just say no to drugs. We teach them to say “No, thank you.”

  9. I can understand the confusion. I thought for the longest time that ecstasy was a joint venture by John Doe, Exene Cervenka and Andy Partridge.

  10. @ JohnD: Actually the libs main message is Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, along with Don’t Tread on Me. And I don’t think there is such a thing as “impressionable young people”. If they were that impressionable they would have long since been bombarded with the idea that being a drug warrior cowboy cop is a good thing?

    I saw overwrought coverage of this beverage additive on the local TV news. The reporter interviewed an earnest and caring older white woman who was a member of the National Council of Parents With Too Much Time on Their Hands, something like that, anyway she showed her concern, talked about getting cannabis flavored lolly pops and Cocaine the beverage banned. The reporter showed the media kit they got when they contacted the makers of Blow – a big box that looks like a couple keys of cocaine, with a scorpion on top, inside was a couple vials of Blow, a mirror and a credit card-sized piece of plastic. Very clever. Logan Gola was also interviewed – over the phone, so he sounded scratchy and kind of evil. All in all a very nice piece of reactionary agitprop, though admittedly the makers of Blow seem to want the media furor – while they can sell it, it will probably sell like hotcakes; I probably wouldn’t have heard of it if it weren’t for the TV news and this H&R.

    God, I hate the local news.

  11. Oh, and smartass sob, what are you doing wandering away from the home, grandpa? The more you say you hate rap the more the kids will get on your lawn.

  12. They’ll have to pry my Meth Coffee from my cold, dead hands… Given I live in the home state of Coke, a drink branded as a drug and marketed to children, I see no problems with products like Meth Coffee (which I don’t buy anymore, as I found a cheaper alternative by mixing ultra dark roast Sumatra with ground Yerba Mate) or Blow. Or Cocaine, even though Coke could’ve sued them for trademark infringement.

  13. AngryOne–You don’t have to be a grandpa to hate rap. I grew up in the late 70’s and was weaned on punk. I hate hippie music too.

    Ever since I sic’d the hounds on the last bunch of kids, they leave my lawn alone.

  14. You are basiclly saying it’s ok to use drugs.

    The message libertarians are trying to send is that it’s OK to mind your own business.

  15. The fact that the FDA is involved suggests that this is just more ‘sciencification’ of moral value judgments. If it sounds like science, they can get around that stupid constitution.

  16. AngryOne | July 6, 2007, 10:14am | #

    Oh, and smartass sob, what are you doing wandering away from the home, grandpa? The more you say you hate rap the more the kids will get on your lawn.

    For all you know, doofuss, I just might BE your grandpaw – or your ol’ man. Do you even know who your ol’ man is? Does your mommy?

  17. I have a problem with rap music being put in the same class as rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, I have a problem with rap music, period – it BLOWS. That is to say – it sucks!

    The fact that you have never heard good rap music makes you an ignorant hick, I’m sorry to say.

    You are basiclly saying it’s ok to use drugs.

    It is okay to use drugs, mmkay?

  18. The fact that you have never heard good rap music makes you an ignorant hick, I’m sorry to say.

    A fact? One that is not in evidence, I must assert. Whether I have heard “good rap music” or bad rap music – or just what sort of rap music – is not something that can be deduced from anything I’ve said. The most that one might be able to grasp from what I said is that I have never heard any rap that I liked.

    Ignorance? Well, as Mark Twain once said, we are all ignorant of something. As for being a “hick”, do you really want to automatically assume that anyone who doesn’t care for certain trends of urban culture must necessarily be an inhabitant of a rural area? If you do, then it is quite evident in which field of knowledge your own ignorance lies.*

    *Oh and BTW – rap is crap, and it still blows.

  19. Still blows, tros. Take it from someone who knows. 😉

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