Yesterday, Michigan's state liquor control commission handed down the first (though certainly not the last) statewide ban on the retail sale of all caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks--everything from the recently demonized Four Loko to the less-recently-demonized Sparks and Joose. Stating that these collegiate faves "pose serious health and safety risks to American youth" and "present a threat to the public health and safety," it was decreed that, starting in 30 days, all such products would be pulled from the shelves and not sold to anyone.This ban was not targeted at any specific product, but at the entire range of stimulant/depressant cocktails, and arguments for and against the ban started long before the events in Roslyn (where a bunch of Central Washington University freshmen got ambulance rides and nice, warm hospital beds courtesy of Four Loko, among other things) which brought Four Loko into the national crosshairs. Still, the Michigan administrative order does actually mention by name our fair state and its intemperate young drinkers, saying, "The recent events regarding minors in Washington State and other concerns from emergency room doctors quoted throughout the country have prompted the Commission to take action."
Yay! We're famous!
You can read the entire Michigan liquor control commission administrative order here, and also check out a full list of products banned under the new rules.
So that's one state down and 49 to go. And while I am personally against the banning of these drinks (or, for that matter, the banning of just about anything by nanny-state government edict), between this and the San Francisco ban on Happy Meal toys that just got voted in by the Board of Supervisors, it just seems like the season for this sort of nonsense. So does anyone want to start taking bets on which state and/or product goes next?