Obligatory Four Loko post

I’ve been asked when I’m going to weigh in on the Four Loko bans. I was thinking about it, but then saw that E.D. Kain had already done a good job of hitting the high points over at Balloon Juice: Give me Four Loko or give me death (or something).

But honestly we have to quit treating everyone as though they were children. People were binge drinking before Four Loko came around. If anything, if this is the course of action we feel we need to take, we should ban margaritas and daiquiris and any other drink that tastes sweet. And beer, too, because let’s face it: beer is delicious and makes people like me want to drink way too much of it. Indeed, many people do. Many other people don’t.

Then again, I find the fact that we have to be twenty-one to drink legally insulting as well.

Absolutely (although I personally don’t actually enjoy beer that much). And I love the tag on this:

Again, I will reassert my belief that Americans have the right to be stupid – at least until their stupidity infringes someone else’s life or liberty. Personally, I wouldn’t touch Four Loko with a ten foot pole but damnit I’ll at the very least write a blog post defending your right to do so.


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27 Responses to Obligatory Four Loko post

  1. darkcycle says:

    O.K. So they banned four loko….what are they going to do to stop people from going into any bar and ordering a Red Bull and Vodka? In this here college town, that’s been the drink of choice for years.
    You could eat a decongestant and drink a couple of beers, they should ban that. Or you could take Primatine tablets and drink Tequila (not recommended!), that should be banned. If we’re going to ban stimulants ant alcohol combined, we’ll have to do away with that evil, evil Irish Coffee…
    Really, among the stupidest and least effective things they could have possibly done..

  2. ban everything says:

    In the interest of peace and safety and political correctness we must ban everything. I hope mommygov will come by and give me a hug *sniffle*

  3. David Marsh says:

    It is estimated that there are 85,000 deaths per year related to the consumption of alcohol. With a population of approx 310 million that equates to approx .14%. Why does any government expend any resources on a problem so small (less than 1%)? So small that there could/should be a debate on whether it is a problem at all? Including Adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000 deaths (.01%), all illicit drug use 17,000 deaths (.006%), average yearly death from airline crashes 130 (.00004%). With a combined 10 Billion TSA and DEA budget doesn’t seem like we as a country are getting much bang for our buck. Prevention you say, proof that the money is well spent? Double, triple, or even quadruple the death numbers, you would still have an insignificant statistical problem undeserving of government intervention. Individual intelligence and personal responsibility are better, and more effective, solutions for avoiding death than governmental regulatory terrorism.

  4. Ed Dunkle says:

    I tried one a couple of days ago. They are pretty effective at making you drunk and happy. And they are cheap! (but taste like carbonated cough syrup.)

    It’s always the young kids who can’t hold their liquor, etc. Maybe if they raised the pot age to 25, the mdma age to 30, and the heroin age to 40 there’d be fewer accidents. And I figure once you make it to 80 you can take any damn thing you want.

    Oh yeah, darkcycle. Irish Coffee is a wonderful creation, and tastes a hell of a lot better than Four Loko.

  5. ezrydn says:

    OT, but close enough.

    Just posted on CNN: “Painkillers Darvon, Darvocet to be pulled from U.S. market at request of FDA.”

    Wonder what’s up?

  6. darkcycle says:

    Looks like dangerous or possibly fatal heart arrhythmias associated with Darvon/Darvocet. Wonder why now this comes to light after decades of use?…

  7. four loco posts says:

    Counter-terrorism exercise features pot growers setting off bombs, seizing dam

    By Daniel Tencer
    Thursday, November 18th, 2010 — 8:51 pm

    Counter terrorism exercise features pot growers setting off bombs, seizing dam

    Marijuana activists are criticizing — and at least partly laughing off — a counter-terrorism exercise carried out Wednesday in California that featured marijuana growers setting off bombs and seizing a dam.

    Organized by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, the exercise involved 20 government agencies and some 250 personnel, according to a report from the Redding Record-Searchlight. In the scenario, marijuana growers blew up a bus and car and seized control of northern California’s Shasta Dam in a bid to free an imprisoned colleague.

    The Shasta Dam scenario began with the two mock bomb blasts followed by the “Red Cell” terrorist group taking over the dam in an effort to free one of their fellow marijuana growers from prison. Holding three people hostage, they threatened to flood the Sacramento River by rolling open the drum gates atop the dam. Those gates hold back the nearly full lake.

    Jeff Stein at the Washington Post points out that “in a confidential catalog of terrorist threats, uncovered by Congressional Quarterly in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security did not include the region’s marijuana growers.” And marijuana advocates say there has never been a recorded case of marijuana-growing terrorists attacking public works.

    “No, never,” California NORML head Dale Gieringer told the Drug War Chronicle.

    “That was so stupid,” Geringer said of the exercise. “I don’t know what inspired it. I can see the need to do better pat downs for air travelers to make sure they’re not holding joints in their underpants, but this? It sounds like something some yahoo red county sheriff would dream up.”

    “This is a classic example of law enforcement’s utterly inaccurate stereotype of who is involved with marijuana,” a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project told the Chronicle. “For decades, they have [vilified] users and people involved in the industry to such an extent that they now equate them with terrorists.”

    The Record-Searchlight reports that the exercise was one of a series designed to improve security responses at major dams across the US.

    Led by the Bureau of Reclamation — the federal agency that oversees the massive concrete dam that creates Lake Shasta — medical, fire and police agencies responded to the mock terrorist attack. During the drill the dam, the roads leading to it and a pair of popular fishing boat ramps were closed.

    Part of the Bureau’s Critical Infrastructure Crisis Response Exercise Program, which started in 2003, the exercise was the first of its kind at the dam, Harral said. Similar drills took place at Utah’s Flaming Gorge Dam in 2003, Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam in 2005 and Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona line in 2008. A similar drill is set for Folsom Dam next.

  8. dank & drank says:

    Some good comments at that link and a nice picture. That is a beautiful place where the dam is located.

  9. EZ — my guess is that they want to open the market to a new more expensive pill. so let’s see if Eli Lilly announces a new “safer” type of painkiller in the coming months

    in other news: “Federal drug officials are considering plans that would sharply curtail the availability of Darvon, the synthetic narcotic painkiller that is the third most widely prescribed drug in the country, because it has been linked to 2,000 and perhaps as many as 5,000 deaths in the United States in the last four years.”

    New York Times, Jan 1, 1979, p.D16

    “Joseph A. Califano Jr., Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, refused today to ban the key ingredient in Darvon, a popular prescription pain reliever. But he announced steps that he said would ensure the public’s welfare while the product was studied.”

    New York Times, Feb 16, 1979, p.A14

    it’s a merry-go-round people

  10. Maria says:

    Ohhkay… What? It’s the first time I’ve heard of this drink “controversy” but now I must wonder, is my Friday Irish Coffee fix illegal as well? Good lord. I try not to drink six of those in one sitting, and it’ not because some government agency tells me it’s bad. My brain would dribble out of my ears, more so than it already does when I read about these sorts of arbitrary idiocies.

  11. kaptinemo says:

    Something has always puzzled me…

    We have spent over a trillion dollars in 40 years to keep people from ingesting certain banned substances, …yet we allow for consumption of known toxic substances like alcohol and nicotine.

    So…are the lives of smokers and drinkers somehow less valuable than those of their fellow citizens? Nothing like the amounts expended each year to ‘save’ illicit drug users from themselves is spent on ‘saving’ drinkers and smokers from themselves.

    Really, if I were a drinker or a smoker (not in either category, but if I was) I’d think I’d be absolutely incensed at the money being ‘lavished’ on illicit drug users! I’d demand equal treatment under the law! After all, it’s my tax money they’re throwing away to the tune of 40 Billion a year! Is my life of less value than someone smoking a joint or munching a funny ‘shroom?

    Okay, I’ll end the snark here, but the fact remains that the government does not seem to think the lives of those not targeted by its’ efforts are of any consequence. Not so far as budgets are concerned…

  12. kaptinemo says:

    And as to this ‘4 Loko’ stuff, as I said, I don’t drink. But I’d never in a million years ever suggest its banning. Anyone with brains knows where that leads. Which leads me to believe that pols who support such bans can enter those porno scanners with impunity, as they don’t have any brains to get fried by the radiation.

  13. kaptinemo says:

    Oh, and BTW: this isn’t the first time this has happened. I recall back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s the same kind of thing happening with another malt liquor (the brand name escapes me at the moment), which was given the epithet of ‘liquid crack’.

    Jeez, most ‘straight’ people people have such short memories…and the ‘stoners’ possess long ones…very long ones. Comes from THC preserving brain cells, while alky destroys them.

  14. Duncan20903 says:

    I absolutely detest the taste of beer. I may be the only man in the world that does. I’ve never managed to drink even half a 12 ounce beer, and if beer were the only way to get high I would be sober as the proverbial judge.

    So this is the first I’ve heard of Four Loko, or the controversy, but I did see on TV that New York has made vaporizing booze illegal. I didn’t even know inhaling was a valid delivery method for drinking alcohol.

  15. Duncan20903 says:

    Well now the entire point is moot isn’t it? Phusion Products said on Tuesday they’re going to knuckle under and take the caffeine out of their drink. Now the bars need to agree to quit serving rum & coke. christ on a cross these people are going to drive me into the bell tower yet.


    The FDA ruling “should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous and toxic drinks,” Sen. Chuckles “the Clown” Schumer, who has pushed the Obama administration to ban the beverages, said Tuesday.

    I’m telling you Senator Chuckles the Clown, stay away from your local bell tower. Maybe pass a law making those bell towers illegal, I can’t be the only one you’re driving to the edge. Mr. Whitman may be dead, but his legacy lives on. Gosh, and such a clean cut, respectable looking young man.

    Why do people keep electing clowns to run their lives? Arrrrgh, I can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me! They always want to take a bite. To them I’m just a happy meal. It happens to me every night. OK, I need to go make some coffee.

    Don’t sing me lullabies
    I won’t close my eyes,
    I can’t close my eyes
    It’s true,
    I’m doomed
    ’til dawn
    shines through
    Got too many things to do
    Got friends to see,
    I can’t miss a thing
    It’s true,
    I’m through
    I’m screwed,

    I won’t close my eyes, I can’t close my eyes,
    I never close my eyes
    You see, they’re always there with funny hair,
    Oh, I’m so scared

    It happens to me every night
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me
    They always want to take a bite
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me
    And if you think this isn’t real
    I’ll show you wounds that never heal
    To them I’m just a happy meal
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me

    Make the coffee black as night
    Help me through the night
    I know their appetite for me
    I’m meat
    but I’m sweet
    as can be
    And if I do too much booze
    I begin to snooze
    I hear the big old floppy shoes
    It’s true,
    I’m stew,

    I won’t close my eyes, I can’t close my eyes,
    I never close my eyes
    See, they’re always there with that funny hair,
    Oh, I’m so scared

    It happens to me every night
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me
    They always want to take a bite
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me
    And if you think this isn’t real
    I’ll show you wounds that never heal
    To them I’m just a happy meal
    Can’t sleep, the clowns will eat me

  16. Duncan20903 says:

    kaptinemo, Cisco.


    “Takes you by surprise”

    Darn, I did want to tell you you were right about something in your post…oh well, I’ll remember this entire conversation 15 years from now. What are we talking about?

    Google is all you need to recall. Do you have trouble with clowns too?

  17. DdC says:

    I don’t like the taste of beer either, especially while eating. Used to take me three or four long neck Iron City’s before it tasted good enough to drink. That’s before I chose to quit and play full time on its cousin. More guvpocrisy for the sudz guzzlers to grow their Hops legally while they outlaw cousin Hemp and Ganja.

    How To Grow Pot Plants That Don’t Look Like Ganja 11/15/01
    Shortly after America entered World War II, a pair of investigators tried to produece an improved bybrid by grafting cannabis plants onto the rootstocks of hops (Humulus lupulus). Hops is the only relative of marijuana. It even produces a mildly narcotic resin,lupuline, which is chemically akin to THC. Since both plants have similar chemistry as well as being members of the same family, it was reasonable to assume that the graft had a good chance of succeeding. But it failed. However, when the situation was reversed-that is, when hop vines were grafted onto cannabis rootstocks- not only was the transfer sucessful, but the leaves of the matured hop plants contained as much cannibinol resins as the original marijuana plants would have produced.

    Killer Fungus Touted To Eradicate State Cannabis Crop Tue, 12 Jul 2005
    Florida’s drug czar favors testing the fungus. State scientists fear it
    could run amok on crops other than marijuana.

    While I do believe one can graft Hops to Ganja the same as orange trees to lemon roots, I’ve never heard of getting hops with a buzz. I doubt if you would get THC at any levels near the Ganja or it would have been utilized by growers in draconian places. Hops getting wiped out by drug worrier fungus on pot crops is totally logical. Yet the sudz guzzling shitkickers and bankrupt family farmers consistently vote and advocate for Ganja prohibition, that includes Hemp. How many textile workers are unemployed, with hemp manna waiting to fall down upon them? Yet again, the blue collar opposition that lets the Neocon synthetics outsource their livelihoods to China, then a return flight to a Wallmart near you. I heard you can’t fix stupid. Reckon so.

  18. Larv says:

    I think this (and many of the comments)are a bit overwrought. The talk about banning rum and coke and Irish coffee is off base. As is the claim that this is somehow an infringement on individual rights. It’s simply not. You can still mix up a rum and coke, irish coffee, or RedBull and vodka if that’s what you like. You can even order them in a bar. It’s not even a blanket ban on the combination of alcohol and caffeine. It’s a targeted warning to several manufacturers of commercial products that they can’t sell them without doing more safety testing on the combination. I’m not sure how that’s unreasonable, or how my right to be stupid is being infringed upon. Businesses don’t have the right to sell potentially harmful products without making an effort to determine whether they’re safe or not. That’s the whole purpose of the FDA, to provide a check to commercial entities and ensure that their quest for profits doesn’t endanger the puplic. The focus here on the users of Four Loko is, IMO, misplaced. The FDA isn’t going around inspecting drinks and arresting the drinkers. It’s not about my right to drink whatever I want, it’s about manufacturers’ rights (or lack thereof) to sell whatever they want.

  19. Linus says:

    Studies show there is a link between drinking Opus One wine and earning above the median income. This obviously means drinking this wine causes drinkers to become more intelligent and hard-working. If we would force everyone to drink expensive wine we’d all be CEO’s in no time.

    You see it’s not the alcohol or caffeine. It’s the brand that determines everything! Don’t believe me, trying drinking Corona and you’ll be speaking spanish in no time.

  20. DdC says:

    US UT: Statewide ‘Spice’ Ban Gets Committee Approval

    Thu, 18 Nov 2010 Spice, which is often marketed as incense, consists of plant material that has been treated with chemicals that include synthetic cannabinoids, the active ingredient in marijuana. Because the chemicals do have medical benefits, such as prevention of nausea during chemotherapy, doctors and researchers would be allowed to continue working with the drugs but would not be allowed to prescribe or dispense them for home use.

    The bill would not add spice to the Drug Enforcement Agency schedule of controlled substances but would create a separate list of substances that could be regulated, said Paul Boyden of the Statewide Association of Prosecutors. The list would include compounds that have been detected in cases referred to the state crime lab, as well as others that could migrate into Utah. Newly created chemicals could also be added as needed.

  21. DdC says:

    Ban the Bans and Banists…

    Dutch Want To Ban Foreigners from Coffee Shops By Phillip S. Smith
    CN Source: AlterNet November 20, 2010 Amsterdam
    The newly elected rightist Dutch government said Wednesday it wants to bar foreigners from buying marijuana in the Netherlands’ famous cannabis coffee shops. The move is part of a national crack down on drug use, a government spokesman said. For more than 30 years, Holland has allowed the sale of small amounts of marijuana (currently up to five grams) in coffee shops, even though laws against marijuana possession technically remained on the books. In recent years, conservative governments have increasingly signaled their unhappiness with the status quo and have embarked on campaigns to reduce the number of coffee shops.

  22. Duncan20903 says:

    While I do believe one can graft Hops to Ganja the same as orange trees to lemon roots, I’ve never heard of getting hops with a buzz.

    I dunno why you believe it. It doesn’t work. Not as in that it doesn’t take and grow, not work as in it doesn’t produce THC. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Sounded like a boffo idea. I’d have felt like I wasted my time except for hearing Thomas Edison opine that there is no such thing as failure, there is only success in proving something doesn’t work. If he hadn’t done that thing with the light bulb he’d have been a highly talented political spin doctor. I’ve been wondering, did the phrase ‘spin doctor’ descend from the phrase ‘spun from whole cloth’? How did ‘whole cloth’ end up a synonym for the word fiction?

    Don’t believe me, trying drinking Corona and you’ll be speaking spanish in no time.

    usted está loco como la mierda de murciélago

    Larv, you’re not going to find many buyers of your spin doctoring here.

    If I have a right to own something I have a right to purchase it.

    If I have a right to purchase something a merchant has the right to sell it to me unmolested.

    It is beyond absurd to claim that I can buy two separate items, and that someone can sell me those items at the same time, but not combine them for me as a service. It most certainly does infringe on my rights. You really do need to pray they don’t take away your right to be stupid because you’ll be up mierda de cala sin una paleta. [en realidad, no es la Corona, es la mala hierba del cártel] (mala hierba del cártel, lol. That’s ‘cartel weed’ or more accurately ‘bad herb of the cartel’ in Inglés. ‘bad herb’ indeed, I just can’t stop laughing.)

    Where your ‘logic’ fails is that there is no concern for saftey involved. Similar to JWH-018 there is no requirement for anything other than that something get a person high before it’s banned. Around here most of us believe you need to have evidence of harm before you make something illegal, not proof of harmlessness before it’s made legal, because there is no such critter.

    Have you seen where Four Loko was ‘implicated’ in the deaths of two teenagers? This is the argument used by your fellow Know Nothing prohibitionists to seem to be concerned about people’s safety? It seems they missed the fact that Four Loko is aleady banned for use by teenagers, or that for thousands of years people or that people who decide to commit suicide are by and large cowards (morons?) who have been using drinking alcohol to get up the courage (or is that the stupidity) required to do the deed. Yeah that was only one of the teens that died but I was too nauseous from inhaling the smell of bullshit to look up the details about the other. Take your nanny state reasoning and go get bent, you’re not foisting that nonsense onto people without a fight anymore. I hope you’re ready to rumble, because I certainly am. The correct word for your so called ‘reasoning’ is ‘absurdity’. But thanks for playing, Pete has some great parting gifts for you. Give them a try, they might help you avoid la mierda de toro you seem inclined to consume and regurgitate. It’s really disgusting to watch, much less the proposal of using that regurgitant as a basis for public policy.


  23. Larv says:


    Y’know, it’d be nice if people were allowed to disagree without being accused of “spin doctoring” or being a “know nothing prohibitionist”. In short, fuck off.

    To expand on that a bit (okay, a lot), I wouldn’t be reading this blog if I weren’t in favor of legalization. I agree with Pete probably ninety percent of the time. I just don’t buy into the strange libertarian view that seems all to common among the legalization movement, whereby any and all regulation is somehow an infringement on my rights. It’s a view which I think is actively harmful to the legalization movement, because we’re never going to get legalization without regulation, at least at first.

    As for your “logic” (see, I can use scare quotes too. Wooo), it’s not very logical. You may be ready to rumble, but I’d suggest that reasoning would be more useful. You say:

    It is beyond absurd to claim that I can buy two separate items, and that someone can sell me those items at the same time, but not combine them for me as a service.

    This is simply wrong. I can buy alcohol, and I can buy acetominophen. I can even buy them together (in safe quantities) in Nyquil. But if I were to start manufacturing and selling a 20 oz. malt liquor drink called Hangover Headstart that had 12% alcohol and 500mg acetominophen per can, I can guarantee that I’d be getting a letter from the FDA warning me to desist until I could submit data indicating that this was safe. I mean, as long as you only drink one, it would be, right?

    Where your ‘logic’ fails is that there is no concern for saftey involved. Similar to JWH-018 there is no requirement for anything other than that something get a person high before it’s banned. Around here most of us believe you need to have evidence of harm before you make something illegal, not proof of harmlessness before it’s made legal, because there is no such critter.

    First off, again, this isn’t a ban in any meaningful sense. It just isn’t, despite the lazy and sloppy reportage on the subject by many news outlets. There is absolutely nothing affecting your right to drink Red Bull and vodka. And I don’t know how you can say with a straight face that there’s no concern for safety, when the letter the FDA sent specifically cites the lack of safety data. Like it or not, the burden of proving safety lies with the manufacturer, not the government. That’s not a bad thing, unless you want huge tax increases to fund a ginormous expansion of the FDA so that they can test all consumer products for safety. Or should we just trust that businesses would never sell unsafe products? I mean, the FDA exists for a reason, and it’s not because nanny-staters want to keep you from getting fucked up. It’s fine, even good, to be suspicious of the government, but not when that morphs into a reflexive and unthinking antiestablishmentarianism.

  24. DdC says:

    “I dunno” explains it quite well, should have quit while you were a head. Get it, a head. Take the marbles out yo mouth boy. Stop this fibbing. You don’t read but you do read? You agree it doesn’t produce THC but disagree that it doesn’t produce THC? Retard! Give up the crank dunk. Your words are meandering again.

  25. vicky vampire says:

    fOUR lOGO GONE will not stop anyone from altering alcohol in countless ways please and then theirs umpteen forms of Spice,and I quess some Bath salts that can give Cocaine high,will not stop prohibs from spending countless amounts of cash to curtail and in lawsuits to save people from themselves

  26. Brian says:

    I think, its the alcohol company’s pushing to ban this product as its getting increasingly popular, as its a effective method of getting intoxicated and stimulated. The beverage only costs about $3, with a perfect mixture of alcohol and caffeine which bars’ don’t do with redbull and vodka mix.

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