Four Loko is causing quite a stir. You may recall that we recently discussed a large group of Central Washington University students who threw a Four Loko party, a beverage that packs the punch of a six pack of beer and five cups of coffee. Nine students wound up in the hospital at that party.
Now, Boston has called a hearing on Four Loko, which some students have named "blackout in a can," and "liquid cocaine."
Washington already banned the beverage, after the CWI incident. Several other states has followed, including New York. "[Four Loko is] marketed to kids by using fruit flavors that mask the taste of alcohol and they have such high levels of stimulants that people have no idea how inebriated they really are. They're packaged just like non-alcoholic drinks, but include a dangerous dose of malt liquor," Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said.
"This is a situation when you know a young person is going to die at some point if we don't get this out of the marketplace," said Boston Councilor John Connolly.
According to Connolly, the city could take several possible approaches, including banning Four Loko, calling for a voluntary ban from retailers or working with colleges and universities to get them to ban the product.
However, Four Loko says that the drink is safe, contending that the alcohol content is on par with some beers and the same amount of caffeine as a large cup of coffee. Four Loko points out that people already consume drinks like rum and coke as well as Red Bull and vodka.
So is Boston taking the proper step by possibly banning a potentially dangerous product? Or is it an example of the nanny state interfering with personal liberties?