Monday, November 8, 2010

RIP Four Loko

You may have heard that this past Friday, the state of Michigan has banned Four Loko from being sold, effective in 30 days.  What you're obviously thinking is, "well, I don't live in Michigan [unless you do, in which case, my condolences], so is my state next??"

And that's exactly where it gets interesting.  And by interesting, I mean the exact opposite of all the fun, drunky, sexy, boozy fun that Four Loko represents, and all the boring, tedious, frustrations of the quagmires of states rights vs. federal law.  Because while you might chalk the ban on Four Loko up to common sense (Four Loko is obviously bad for the kids), you have to remember that the government doesn't run around simply banning the products made by private companies on a whim.  Or wait, can it? Shit, can we get some crazed Tea Partiers to pitch a fit about this abortion of free market capitalism?

Alcohol sales are regulated for the FDA, but also by local state agencies.  That's why you can buy a whiskey in a CVS in California, but grocery stores in New York can only sell beer and not wine.  And how in Pennsylvania, you can freakishly buy a six-pack by ordering it to-go in a bar.  So the FDA says Four Loko is fine, but Michigan now says it's not.  However,  New York officials claim "state law doesn't currently give the authority the power to ban products approved by federal regulators."

So what's the fucking deal here?  How does this work?  Can some law student nerd explain this to me?

Thanks to Kyle for the photo he took in New Jersey over the weekend.

Related note: where can I buy a "Don't blame me, I voted for the Spitzer madam" bumper sticker?

UPDATE:  An anonymous reader wrote into me with a bunch of information - apparently, the NY State Senate will be voting on a proposed bill to ball all caffeinated malt beverages soon.  What's weird (and seriously stoopid) is that the NY Senate now allows the random internet populace to comment on bills.  So you can post all your "FREE LOKO! THE FOUR LOKO MADE ME TOO DAMN HIGH" comments here, and people in the goverment actually have to read it.  How messed up is that!!!  Comment here:


Anonymous said...

First they came for moonshine
but I said nothing because im not a hillbilly
then they came for four loko
but i said nothing cause I dont get wasted on tuesday mornings
then they came for Old English
and it was too late to stop them

dave said...

sparks will be next. oh wait.

Anonymous said...

Well first off Alcoholic/Caffeine beverages are regulated by the ATF not the FDA. It says this in the facts page for Four Loko

Second, fat Americans with diabetes really shouldn't be drinking stuff like this!

Anonymous said...

May our patron saint continue to battle the stereotype.

カート said...

Not surprisingly, Washington has joined the anti-fun party:

Time to start hoarding!