California considers ban on caffeinated alcohol beverages

July 12, 2011

If you like caffeine with your beer, you’ll have to mix them yourself. [San Mateo Daily Journal]

The California Assembly moved to prohibit the sale and production of popular energy drinks such as Joose and Four Loko, which are laced with alcohol and caffeine and have been popular with young, college-age drinkers.

The Assembly approved the ban in a 43-24 vote. The bill, SB39, passed the Senate in April, which will now reconsider the changes made by the Assembly before it goes on to the governor.

Specifically, the bill would ban the import, production, distribution or retail of alcoholic beverages with caffeine added to them. Nearly half a dozen states have passed similar bills.

The added caffeine in these drinks “masks the effects of the high alcohol content, which can lead to binge drinking and dangerous behavior,” said Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, who sponsored the bill.

Opponents note that college students under 21 are already breaking the law, and argue that no one is trying to ban Irish coffee, which also combines alcohol and caffeine.

It doesn’t matter what your alcoholic beverage of choice, “if you drink enough of it you’re going to pass out, said Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton. “Is this really something that needs a state law?”

Federal regulators are also reviewing the safety and marketing practices of beverage makers that combine the two ingredients.


50 Comments

  1. standup says:

    Both are legal by themselves but mixed together they will be illegal. Does that mean that mixing cocaine and meth will make the combination legal? Just sayin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. danika says:

    If you want to take a peek at our future, read this:

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/story/2011/07/Should-parents-lose-custody-of-super-obese-kids/49320358/1

    I can totally see how this can happen. We must keep our children safe, right…no matter what…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. bobfromsanluis says:

    It is acknowledged that there is an epidemic among the college age population regarding binge drinking and general alcohol abuse; a couple of makers of alcoholic beverages get “creative” by adding caffeine and a couple of other natural stimulants that allow the drinker to consume more alcohol and not feel the effects of getting more and more drunk, but that is okay because we have “free will”? Cocaine used to be legal too; should that be made legal again? The problem with the caffeinated alcoholic beverages is that it impairs the judgement of the drinker too much, to the point that they cannot understand how drunk they really are and they then become a danger to society by driving drunk and killing people.

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