Our View: Four Loko a little too loco
It’s all over the front pages. It’s all over liquor stores across the nation. And odds are, there were cans all over your apartment last weekend.
Four Loko, the alcoholic sensation kicking the pants off other similar cheap beverage options, combines everything students need into one place: 12 percent alcohol content, 23.5 ounces of caffeine, bright colors and an intense taste that screams “I’m underage and drinking in my dorm.”
In all seriousness, the malt beverage taking college campuses by storm, although convenient, has very dangerous potential leading states like Michigan and Illinois to ban the drink. We hope to see a ban make its way to Ohio too.
The dangers of Four Loko begin with quantity. The large amount of liquid at 12 percent alcohol makes it easy for students to drink way more than necessary. Before they know it, they’re blacking out and spending their evening in an intense drunken state. Once at the peak of drunkenness, though, the caffeine kicks in. When drinkers would normally be ready to pass out, they feel a surge of energy that opens the door to a myriad of mistakes that could have been avoided. Not to mention the potential for heart palpitations or other health risks, Four Lokos are flat out a health hazard. It’s essentially harmful binge drinking in a can.
Now like smoking, we’d like to agree that if students are aware of the risks, they have the right to choose to drink or not drink any alcoholic beverage on the market. The issue with Four Loko remains with how easy it is to drink too much of it.
The cans come with huge portions that in small amounts, like a normal sized Red Bull and vodka for example, wouldn’t be too harmful. The energy drink and vodka combo fad is one we’d like to see fade out, especially with Four Loko. No matter how responsible drinkers intend to be, open a can of Four Loko and it’s pretty much guaranteed to lead to a night of debauchery.
For the sake of Kent State students everywhere, we hope to see those flashy cans off Ohio shelves soon.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.