Washington State has banned alcoholic energy drinks, but it has also created a rush of college students seeking to buy them before the ban goes into effect. The ban in Washington State will go into effect starting on Thursday, Nov. 18. What that has created is a window of opportunity for anyone in the state to buy any pre-packaged alcoholic energy drinks that might still be in stock at local stores. The popularity of drinks like this in college towns is at its highest, with several reports that college students are rushing to buy as many as they can before they are taken off store shelves.
According to KREM.com, Gonzaga University students were filling up local stores as a sudden rush on sales occurred. Apparently, during just a few hour span of time on Wednesday, a local market sold 30 cases to students. Video from the scene showed quite a few excited college students making their way through the doors.
This was something that was mirrored in other college towns around the state, and has received a mixed reaction from onlookers. Some are horrified that college students are doing this, and others can’t believe that the state has taken such a harsh stance on products like this.
The ban that has just recently been approved applies to any pre-packaged drinks that offer both high levels of alcohol and caffeine to consumers. It’s a pretty rash step that the state took, and ties to a specific group of irresponsible students at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.. At a party there, many students ended up getting sick, and nine of them wound up in the hospital after consuming too much of a drink called Four Loco. That drink mixes caffeine and alcohol, and has the equivalent of four cups of coffee and four beers in a single can. It proved to be too much for many underage students at that party, and has ruined it for the rest of the state.
There is no denying that mixing caffeine and alcohol can be a dangerous combination, but the argument could be easily made that consuming alcohol on its own is dangerous. The other argument here is that people are still allowed to order drinks like Red Bull and vodka at bars, as long as the ingredients aren’t pre-packaged. It makes this new ban seem a bit odd, but you could view it as removing a set of products from the market that would make it more difficult for people to abuse alcohol.
The obvious issue that needs to be dealt with more harshly is the underage drinking, though, and not necessarily the drink they decided to indulge in. Either way, the ban goes into effect on Thursday, and sales of Four Loco are going through the roof.