Friday, November 19, 2010

Blackout in a Can

Washington Post:
Federal agencies moved aggressively Wednesday to eliminate from the market the potent alcoholic "energy" drinks spiked with caffeine that have become wildly popular on college campuses in recent years.
The drinks, sometimes called a "blackout in a can," contain high levels of alcohol and caffeine. The mixture creates a state of "wide-awake drunk" that makes it difficult for people to realize how intoxicated they are and enables them to consume far more alcohol than they otherwise would without passing out, officials said. That puts them at increased risk for alcohol poisoning, engaging in risky behavior such as driving drunk, and committing or being the victims of sexual assaults, they said. Consuming one can of Four Loko - the most popular product - has been compared to drinking five cans of beer and a cup of coffee.
Okay, this sounds both scary and stupid, and is just the type of thing a lot of young adults will be compelled to try. They lack judgment (which is why we might want to reconsider bumping up the voting age a few notches, but that's a different issue).

But why is the federal government meddling in this? No where in the Constitution is Washington granted the authority to ban beverages. In fact, the 21st Amendment makes pretty darn clear that this is a states' issue. And even if Washington had the legit authority to enact such a ban, shouldn't it come in the form of an actual law or something and not through bureaucratic fiat?

If a state wants to act on this, fine. While I'm sure even the dimmest frat boy can solve the magical mystery of combining coffee and booze, at least a state has the legitimate authority to say they can't. But Washington should mind its own business. It's gotten way too drunk on power.

h/t Don Surber

Update: Ricochet has more.

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