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Four Loko, the new black market?

via Jessica Van Sack, Boston Herald

Soon, it may be easier for Bay State residents to score pot than to obtain the fruity, canned malt beverage called Four Loko.

An expected move by Bay State liquor regulators to restrict sales of the highly concentrated alcohol and caffeine drink next Monday had consumers raiding liquor stores for the last remaining rations of Four Loko.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said Jerry Geagan of Hurley’s Liquors in Brighton.

In fact, Four Loko may well become a new black market, with the drink’s maker agreeing to remove caffeine from the beverage. Critics contend the stimulant masks the effects of the alcohol. The 23.5-ounce drink contains 12 percent alcohol by volume, about the same amount as a bottle of wine.

In Waltham, at D&D Liquors, customers have inquired about buying the drink in bulk for re-sale, but worker Adam Berman said the store stopped selling the drink last week upon instructions from local officials.

The federal Food and Drug Administration yesterday sent a warning letter to four makers of alcoholic caffeinated beverages, including Four Loko, essentially forcing them to halt sales within 15 days.

Despite removing the drink’s caffeine, Phusion Projects, which owns Four Loko, contends the drink is safe, saying in a statement: “If it were unsafe, popular drinks like rum and colas or Irish coffees that have been consumed safely and responsibly for years would face the same scrutiny that our products have recently faced.”

via Jessica Van Sack, Boston Herald

It’s true. Black markets on college campuses are starting to sprout up. The real loser in this equation is the FDA. Both liquor stores and Phusion Projects are rolling their way to the bank with bulks of four loko being sold out in the matters of hours.

The odd thing is, four loko is banned but a mayor vetoes a ban on happy meals?  Humans should at least have the right to be able to choose if they want to drink a substance.