Michigan has gone loco for Four Loko

Chris Slattery

I’m known for using a heavy amount of sarcasm, so I am going to put this as bluntly as possible: Michigan should not ban alcoholic energy drinks.

And of course, this is where I insert my obligatory disclaimer that underage students shouldn’t drink and that alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation, yadda-yadda-yadda. You know the drill.

For once, I am not attempting to push my own personal agenda in a column. Personally, I hate the taste of energy drinks (alcoholic or not), but — as my friends would say — this is one of my classic “It’s the principle of the matter, dangit!” platforms.

Because it’s the principle of the matter, dangit! Let me break down my reasons into small easily-digestible chunks for you:

First, containing the ban to the state of Michigan is just another slap in the collective faces of college students across the Great Lake State. I mean, c’mon, Michigan; you took my Michigan Promise and now you’re taking my 3SUM?! Where does it end? You can take my life, but you can’t take away my Four Loko!

What I’m saying is, if one state is going to restrict sales of the drinks, the whole country might as well. Since when has Michigan ever set the standard for nutrition or well-being? Now, sober/tired students all across Michigan will look at other states in envy: “Say, Ohio, looks like you’re having a fun, energized time over there … “

Second, it is ridiculous to think that a simple state border is going to stop Michiganders from purchasing these beverages. Students everywhere are more loco for Four Loko than the Michigan Liquor Control Commission predicted. I’m picturing a mini-Prohibition scenario in Michigan’s near future. Bars across the state will emulate the 1920s all over again and open private clubs where Sparks and Rockstar 21 flow forth like the inevitable vomiting later.

This may only be a fantasy in my mind because I’m a sucker for flappers.

Also, what’s to stop consumers everywhere from producing their own alcoholic energy drinks? A case of Red Bull and a couple Colt 45s may not taste exactly the same as a Liquid Charge, but if mixed strong enough, who’s going to care after a couple of swigs?

Finally, this decision has already prompted several “Four Loko Parties,” where students stock up as many cans as they can afford as if they are preparing for some kind of Cold War nuclear fallout and the only way to survive is by drinking can after can of Four Loko. Any party where the sole beverage is Four Loko promises to have the most rapid games of beer pong ever.

It also promises to defeat the purpose of the ban in the first place. Thousands of students consuming a dangerous product in massive quantities in a very short time span significantly exacerbates the problem, and the number and severity of these parties will only increase the closer we get to the expiration date.

So, even though I may find alcoholic energy drinks disgusting, I want to fight for every man and woman’s right to drink gross beverages. It’s the principle of the matter, dangit, and I don’t see why Ohio gets to have all the fun.

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