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New York bans shipment of Four Loko

By Svenja van den Woldenberg, Staff Writer

Many students were upset when Governor David Paterson announced Sunday that Four Loko, a caffeinated alcoholic beverage, will be banned from shipping in the state of New York.

"I love Four Loko! It gets me four different types of crazy!" said a Hofstra University student who wished to remain anonymous. One 23.5-ounce can of Four Loko, nicknamed "blackout in a can" by critics, contains as much alcohol as three cans of beer combined with three cups of coffee.

The voluntary agreement reached between the New York State Liquor Authority and Phusion Projects, the makers of Four Loko, states that shipment of Four Loko will halt to New York distributors after Friday. Distributors will stop deliveries to retailers by December 10th. Any store caught selling Four Loko without proof it was ordered before the deadline risks heavy fines. According to authorities the agreement is the result of a sting operation at 28 stores in the Bronx last week which lead to four arrests for selling beverages to minors. The operation started in August after three young Westchester teenagers were rushed to the emergency room after consuming cans of Four Loko.

Jacqueline Cassar, a Hofstra University employee said, "I'm a little torn on the whole ban itself. Don't get me wrong I totally understand the reason, but there are far worse things out there we can get our little grubby hands on. Get rid of Four Loko you still have other energy/alcohol drinks on the shelves. Not to mention you still have vodka on the shelves that you can mix with your redbulls. My point, kids will be kids, grown-ups will be grown-ups. We all know the effects of booze on the body, its a harzard to our health, yet you will still find me at Classics bar in New Hyde Park wetting my whistle."

"How I feel about the Four Loko ban!? Devastated! I personally like Four Loko a lot. I like the way it tastes - I like lemonade & fruit punch flavors the best. And it's so cheap. You really can't beat the cheap price. But I also know my limits, unlike a lot of people. I know I can only drink one of these things at a time or else I'll get way too drunk. The people who are at parties playing beer pong with it and chugging them are just stupid, that's like asking for a night in the hospital. Or at least a really bad hangover. But yeah, I think the ban is ridiculous. But I guess house parties will go back to just being cheap liquor and kegs," said junior Amanda Grace Armbruster.

Another student, Taylor Crawford, said, "Four Loko is great. Well not really, but to me it seems like there is a cult following around Four Loko and should never be banned because kids are dumb."

State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein said at a news conference in Harlem, "This is going to protect our young people. This is going to make sure our young people no longer have access to this dangerous product. But I don't think our work is done."

Utah, Washington State and Michigan have already banned the sale of energy drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine, while Oklahoma has banned shipment like New York. North Carolina, Rhode Island and Kansas are currently conducting their own investigations to evaluate the danger of Four Loko, according to police.

Senator Charles Schumer said Tuesday to PoliJam Times, that the Food and Drug Administration will rule caffeine an unsafe food additive to alcoholic beverages which will prohibit sale in the United States.

(Sean M. Gates/The Chronicle )

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