Alcohol

Attorneys General Demand Smaller Four Loko Cans

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First the Food and Drug Administration forced Phusion Projects, the Chicago-based manufacturer of Four Loko, to decaffeinate its fruity, bubbly malt beverage. Then the Federal Trade Commission pressured the company into selling Four Loko in resealable containers carrying a conspicuous warning that "this can has as much alcohol as 4.5 regular (12 oz. 5% alc/vol) beers"—a puzzling requirement, since the federal government's main rap against Four Loko is that it's aimed at irresponsible "young adults" looking for a fast and cheap way to get drunk. Now 35 state attorneys general are demanding that the FTC go further, limiting Four Loko cans to the equivalent of no more than two 5 percent beers. For the 12 percent version of Four Loko, that would mean reducing the size of the container by 57 percent, from the current 23.5 ounces to about 10 ounces. "The company claims that that you can safely drink one can of Four Loko in a single occasion," says Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, "which is absurd."

Which is more absurd: the verifiably true fact that someone can consume four or five drinks over the course of an evening without dying of alcohol poisoning, or the notion that the necessity of opening a second container will stop him from doing so? And if even resealable containers of Four Loko are still objectionable because drinking the entire contents would be overdoing it, doesn't the FTC need to ban 750-milliliter wine bottles, which contain more alcohol than a can of Four Loko? Do Tom Miller and his busybody buddies know that vodka, whiskey, and tequila are also sold in such bottles, each of which contains the equivalent of about 17 FTC beers?

I chronicled the original, caffeinated Four Loko's journey from new product to contraband—a moral panic in which Miller and other attorneys general figured prominently—in the February issue of Reason.

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]

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  1. I think you mean “non-resealable” in the 2nd para.

  2. From left to right: 2,4,3,1

  3. From left to right: 2,4,3,1

    THIS IS WHY WOMEN AREN’T LIBERTARIANS

    Do you mean how many Four Lokos it would take?

    2, all of them, 4, 8.

    (The Asian one is third from left by center of mass, I assume?unless the duck-lipping “redhead” has the world’s heaviest penis, which I merely suspect.)

    1. Quit lying. By that standard it’s more like 0, 0, 0, 0 for most of us.

    2. Cent sign, I recently discovered antiduckface.com if you need some hate ‘bate fodder. Maybe I’m getting old, because I didn’t realize this was A Thing girls did now. Why? Is it supposed to be sexy?

      1. I told my daughter (the teenaged one) that it was totally stupid. I don’t say that about most trends, knowing how they have to run their course. I used the “You’re going to feel like an idiot if all of your pictures look like that in just a couple of years.”

        At least my plaid pants in my early childhood were my parents’ fault.

        1. I appreciate the desire to have something to do with your face when you’re having your photo taken, it just needs to be something less weird. Good fatherly advice, sir.

          Although, did I listen when my dad told me the Spice Girls sucked and the bell-bottom jeans trend of the late 90’s wouldn’t last? No. No I did not.

          1. I have a stupidity scale. If it remains low on the scale, I remain silent or only resort to the occasional snide mumble or eye roll (I’m known for my eye rolls).

            My wife said that my oldest son, who thinks he’s a conservative, expressed sympathy for the income redistribution schemes of the Stupefy movement. He’s going to get a short lecture with multiple eye rolls. I may also redistribute some of his wealth back to me. Who is paying for college again?

            1. Where d’ya go wrong, ProL? I need to know for my own kid’s sake.

              1. Whatever do you mean?

                1. In not impairing all egalitarian impulses in your eldest son? Did you take him to a homeless shelter to show him that people mostly cause their own ill fortune, and there were battered wives there instead? I keed, but I’m kinda of interested in knowing where that sentiment is coming from in your kid.

                  1. He’s got that special sense of entitlement so prevalent in his generation. We’ve beaten some of it out of him, but not all of it.

                    Yes, I’m a libertarian, but I’m also the holder of patria potestas in my home.

                    1. Yes, I’m a libertarian, but I’m also the holder of patria potestas in my home.

                      I thought you were the pater familias?

                    2. Yes. The patria potestas is the power the pater familias has over his family. Up to and including vitae necisque potestas.

                    3. The patria potestas is the power the pater familias has over his family. Up to and including vitae necisque potestas.

                      I had to look that last one up, being dead language-challenged. You brought ’em into this world, you’ll take ’em out…

                    4. Precisely. I was trained in parenting by Bill Cosby’s dad.

                    5. this post is a serious win!

                  2. Mine turns 14 months in a few days. So far I’ve taught him life is mostly about having fun, reading alphabet books and toy catalogs, and drumming. He goes Ba-BA BA BAaaaa! in imitation of Robert Plant from the Immigrant Song while beating his hands against a table. I’m working on getting him to do it consistently, and if it works out, it’s gonna hit Youtube, baby!

                    1. Never, ever, let your children become celebrities. Or think they ever should or could. It’s for the best.

                    2. You make a good point. That one could go viral if done right.

                    3. Lindsay Lohan has sacrificed herself so that parents will not repeat her parents’ mistake. Don’t let her sacrifice be in vain!

                    4. Careful, it’s all good fun until he starts a toddler drum circle….

      2. Dagny, that’s website of the year. Except I still prefer the term, “Internet kissy face”.

        But seriouisly, that website is almost as good as http://www.mulletsgalore.com.

        1. For a contrast to mullets, check out all the sweet flattops!

        2. Their website is down.

      3. Oh, I’m also convinced that internet kissy face is due to the Jersey Shorification of our culture. Sad, really.

        1. And I say this because there seems to be a common theme amongs those making Internet Kissy Face: They’re almost all orange.

  4. Fuck. Are they going to try to limit the size of beer bongs next?

    1. Which is more absurd: the verifiably true fact that someone can consume four or five drinks over the course of an evening without dying of alcohol poisoning, or the notion that the necessity of opening a second container will stop him from doing so?

      You’re forgetting that the next regulation will require the drinker to solve a moderately difficult crossword puzzle to open each can.

      1. Can it be sudoku instead? I think I can solve those while drunk.

      2. Then people will just open all the cans before they drink anything, and pour them all into a big pitcher.

  5. It’s all a plot by Big Aluminum.

    1. Or its most hated adversary, Big Aluminium.

      1. England has no big aluminiums.

  6. The blonde in the striped shirt looks like a lot of naked, dirty fun. Too bad I’m married. Maybe I’ll pick up some 4 Loko on my grocery run… Oh yeah, Liberty!

  7. Do Tom Miller and his busybody buddies know that vodka, whiskey, and tequila are also sold in such bottles, each of which contains the equivalent of about 17 FTC beers?

    Yes, but they aren’t as nekulturny as Four Loko.

    1. They’re picking winners and losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Actually, it’s true, but I need a laugh. So, I come here…

    2. Perhaps, but vodka, whiskey, and tequila come in blandly colored bottles which by government logic are all but invisible to young people until the alcohol content reaches 190 proof. Bright shiny containers attract young people and hopelessly compel them to drink the entire contents without stopping for breath.

  8. I thought Four Loko was, like, banned!

    No?

    Dude!

  9. “The company claims that that you can safely drink one can of Four Loko in a single occasion,” says Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, “which is absurd.”

    Said Tom Miller before going out with his wife to a cocktail party/fundraiser with open bar, where he consumed three gin martinis and then a scotch on the rocks after getting home.

  10. Seriously. The lower girl in that photo is licking cock.
    Not that I’m opposed to this form of advertising.

  11. A blonde, a brunette, a redhead, and an Asian.

    Heaven. Where do I get me some of the there Four Loco shit?

  12. BTW, for the more experienced parents out there, how much coffee is too much coffee for a fourteen month old? I usually spend a little time in the morning with my kid in my lap, and I let him share my cup of coffee with a baby spoon. Now 8 full spoons equals a teaspoon, so most mornings he is getting around a teaspoon. It’s great bonding time, makes him feel included, but is it too indulgent?

    1. Do you give him a smoke too? Nothing like a Marlboro fresh out of the pack with a strong cup a joe!

    2. Did the same with our infant. My wife would share her latte. Of course “share” is relative. She’d have a few spoonfools and would consume the foam on top.

      Also, my wife (at the time) never stopped drinking coffee during pregnancy.

      I remember during the birthing classes (a very yuppie experience, by the way– I was like a fish out of water) we were talking to a woman who was lamenting all the enjoyments she missed due to pregnancy. She mentioned how much she missed coffee, while my wife stared at her sheepishly, gripping her double-tall latte.

    3. Not sure where doctors are on caffeine intake for infants, but I doubt it’s a problem in that small of a quantity, especially at 14 months.

      1. The Center for “Science” in the “Public Interest” is quite sure any amount will cause genetic mutation, turning your baby into a killing machine.

        1. I’ve seen their leader. Healthy isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind. More like the words ‘anemia’, and ‘sunlight.’

        2. Sounds like a plan. Now I just need an ova, a surrogate, and a Starbucks card.

        3. turning your baby into a killing machine

          So, its a win, then.

        4. I’m confused, or someone is, what is the magic cutover age at which it stops being a mutagen and starts reducing heart attacks?

  13. Those are some hot bitches holding those cans . . .

    1. Reminds me of a typical Saturday night at my place.

      Any night, actually.

      1. So you sit at home looking for pictures of women holding cans of shitty alcohol?

        Whatever gets you off, bro.

  14. a guy from my dept. had a KICKASS 4 loko party not too long ago

    1. oh, and just to clarify… original (OG) PREBAN 4 loko

      the good stuff, man!

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  18. The company that makes Four Loko needs to do like Wisconsin used to do with margarine: provide caffeine on the side that you can mix with the Four Loko to make your caffeinated beverage. Not that I’d drink the stuff; it sounds as ghastly as Zima.

    (Zima. Because zhit happens.)

    1. Zima is a significant improvement.

  19. If the ban saves at least one dude from hooking up with those chicks then it’s worth it.

  20. The Center for “Science” in the “Public Interest” is quite sure any amount will cause genetic mutation, turning your baby into a killing machine.

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