Monday, November 15, 2010

Ohio Not Banning Four Loko... Yet

Posted By on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM


Everyone's favorite dirt-cheap, alcohol and caffeine-packed beverage is taking heat around the nation. Four Loko, which gained infamy after a handful of college kids in Washington downed too many Lokos and went loco (and got sick), is being banned by universities and states around the country.

New York is the latest to step up and tell its booze-quaffing, deal-seeking citizens No Loko For You, joining Michigan and Utah.

What about Ohio, though? The Buckeye state gave birth to the ingenious and dangerous concoction (it was invented by a trio of Ohio State grads).

The Lantern says nothing is imminent... yet. But that doesn't mean Ohio's not intent on making a decision soon. Part of the inaction so far seems to be because Ohio just can't outright ban Four Loko on a whim; it's going to take legislative action first.

Ohio's Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control will not authorize a ban on the products unless there is a change in state legislation, said Cara Keithley, the chief of communications for the Division of Liquor Control.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation," Keithley said. "However, a legislative change would be needed to the statute in order for the superintendent to disapprove a product."

The Ohio Attorney General's office will not confirm or deny any move to ban the drink, but there have been no public moves to change state law, said Kim Kowalski, a spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

"We haven't done anything public," Kowalski said.

Kowalski told The Lantern on Oct. 27, "We cannot confirm or deny any investigations into banning the drink statewide." She said that is still the case.

Of course, "we haven't done anything public," means: We've definitely had many discussions about this privately, and "we can't confirm or deny any investigations" means: We're definitely going to do this at some point.

So drink up, while you can.

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