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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

In defense of Four Loko

Published: November 19, 2010
Section: Opinions

The unthinkable has happened. Our world as we know it has changed. There comes a time when change is necessary, when we must alter our universe for common good. But ladies and gentleman, why change what is not broken? Why take away my right given by law, that one older than 21 may drink what he or she chooses? Why ban the candy of youth? Someone needs to take a stand for Four Loko. This is not only an alcoholic beverage, it’s not just a energy drink, but it is a symbol.

A symbol, you think, might be a little ridiculous. But in reality the drink Four Loko—as well as its close friend Joose—is more than a mere alcoholic beverage; it is a symbol of freedom. Authority has stripped the population of their personal rights. Those who are responsible enough to drink Four Loko in a healthy manner and who, quite frankly, can handle their liquor ,should have the option to drink anything they choose. Why destroy a healthy business? Why take away our personal rights? Ladies and gentleman, I ask you, when in history has the government made an effort to control our own personal bodies. Oh, yes, Prohibition. The 20th century Prohibition and the banning of Four Loko seem to be the same exact thing. We start by losing Four Loko, then Joose. I am left with fear as to what’s next. Will we lose our right of religious freedom or freedom of speech? We are only left to wonder. This is a blatantly fascist attempt of a so-called democratic government to take away our rights one at a time.

The biggest issue that the evil, despicable people are citing as a reason to ban Four Loko is the high levels of caffeine and other stimulants that are found within the delicious concoction. Understanding the effects of caffeine mixed with alcohol and the dangers that can come as a result is definitely an important thing to know. One thing that must be understood here is that there are drinks that are extremely common in bars that have the same effects that a Four Loko does. When one thinks about drinks that are commonly ordered at a bar, one is left with a list including: vodka with Red Bull, jaegerbombs (jaeger and Red Bull mixed) and rum and coke. So I pose a question: If caffeine and alcohol is bad for your body and is being banned due to the mix, should bars be restricted from selling soda and Red Bull to their patrons? This is absolute madness. One cannot stop bar-goers, or anyone for that matter, from choosing to mix the two chemicals, so why is it so acceptable to ban Four Loko? This, ladies and gentlemen, is a question that has remained unanswered, and proves to be a main driving point in my fight to save Four Loko.

Another argument stated by the banners is the appeal of Four Loko to today’s youth. Here, I do agree that a Four Loko is very appealing. I say that it has not increased underage drinking but rather opened a gate that allows young people to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, which, in one can, will result in intoxication of most people. We are talking about getting drunk for less than three dollars in most states. Is there a better deal than that? I think not.

Horror stories about Four Loko have also run rampant recently and aid in the argument to ban the drink. Constant stories of people ending up hospitalized or blacking out as a result of Four Loko are nothing new. I must say here that I have indulged in the great drink of Four Loko many times, and have never, ever had a bad experience. I have never blacked out as a result, or even gotten sick, and have definitely never had to be hospitalized. It is left up to the individual to be responsible for the amount that they drink, and no matter what, there will always be stories of kids overdoing it. That is no reason to ban this specific drink.

Someone needs to fight for Four Loko. Someone needs to be brave enough to take a stand for what is right, for justice. And that young, brave citizen is me, Ryan Tierney, protector of your constitutional right—the hero you were waiting for.