Good news: Feds to ban caffeinated alcoholic drinks for some reason

With full White House approval, of course. Because if college students can’t control their intake, why should any of us have the chance?

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he welcomed a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would effectively ban drinks like Four Loko and Joost, which have come under scrutiny for their alleged role in several cases of alcohol intoxication on college campuses.

“These products are designed, branded, and promoted to encourage binge drinking, and I commend the FDA for acting promptly to curb their sale,” Kerlikowske said in a statement. “These drinks are especially unhealthy and dangerous because they combine alcohol and caffeine — and present a further concern when used by young people.”

I’ve lost the plot on state/federal policy towards health and hazardous substances. For instance, it’s okay to ban sugary drinks — but only for consumers who are on food stamps. It’s not okay to ban cigarettes, but it’s okay to put photos of corpses on the packs to discourage people from buying them. For caffeine/alcohol blends, it’s okay to ban ’em straightaway; no need to bother with a picture on the can of a kid ralphing on himself or whatever, which I guess makes them the beverage equivalent of Happy Meals. Is there any logic to that that I’m missing, or is it a simple case of Four Loko’s lobbyists not being half as good as R.J. Reynolds’s? And if you think that’s confusing, have a look at Jacob Sullum’s post at Reason. Apparently, the difference between banworthy and not banworthy caffeinated alcohol drinks is highly nuanced indeed.

Four Loko’s now trying to avert a ban by “voluntarily” removing the caffeine from the recipe, but Mary Katharine Ham has decided to rebel on their behalf. Here’s her “Four Loko for Freedom!” Facebook page, with a nationwide drink-up tentatively scheduled for Saturday night. What better way to enjoy a weekend than by knocking one back and heading over to the local airport to get your junk touched? Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, enjoy halfwit New York assemblyman Felix Ortiz helping to spread panic by pounding Four Lokos until, I kid you not, he throws up. Turns out that alcohol, consumed in sufficient quantities, can cause nausea. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same imbecile whose health crusade led him recently to propose fining New York City chefs for cooking with … salt. Why not extend the ban to cooking with heat, I wonder? It is, after all, a fire hazard.

Update: Aren’t kids looking for a Four Loko buzz now just going to mix Jolt Cola and Jack, say? From what I hear about Loko’s taste, JC&J might actually be superior.