Upcoming Ban Has Alcoholic Energy Drinks Going Fast

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Tuesday night at Tom's Party Store, Four Loko was nowhere to be found.

"We completely ran out," said store owner Rich McCarius.

Alcoholic energy drinks wont be on Michigan shelves much longer. The state liquor control commission banned them after the FDA called the alcohol-caffeine formula unsafe.

"It seems you cant get enough, everybody wants to stock up," McCarius said.

Some liquor stores are selling more cases than they are cans.

"With any banned substance that's what happens, you create an even bigger market than already existed," McCarius said.

"People are going nuts over it," said MSU student Corey Burgol. "I've heard so many people in my classes say 'have you tried Four Loko, oh i just tried my first one last night.'"

Retailers have until December 3 to sell the drinks,, but the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association says the sooner they stop, the better.

"We're just reachin out with our retail partners, telling our members we need to get them off the shelves ASAP," said the association's president, Mike Lashbrook.

But not all liquor stores are taking that message to heart. We found at least two places just in Downtown East Lansing where you can still walk out with a can of Four Loko.

We talked to an MSU student right after he bought two.

"The drink tastes good, keeps me awake throughout the night," said Pablo Majano.

Critics say drinking the 23.5 oz. can is like having five beers, but that the caffeine masks the alcohol. Tom's owner says that's no different than many mixed drinks made with coffee or Red Bull, for instance.

"We have a product people want, people are asking for, and if we can get it, and sell it, they're we're going to do it," he said.

The store expects another shipment of Four Loko Wednesday.


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  • by John Location: Lansing, MI on Nov 23, 2010 at 09:29 PM
    I think its sad that legal adult beverages are being banned because of endless media hype about some underage immature kids who broke the law and couldn't hold their booze. Does this mean I won't be able to buy vodka and a can of red bull together because its caffeine and alcohol? What law has been broken by whats contained in these cans? Caffeine is legal and so is alcohol to adults.
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