Four Loko banned in college campuses; Maryland schools have no official policy on "blackout in a can"
The new boogeyman at college campuses this week is Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic drink that's been charmingly called "blackout in a can."
Two colleges, Central Washington University and New Jersey's Ramapo College, have banned its consumption on campus following the hospitalization of some of their students.
At the Washington school, nine freshmen were hospitalized October 8 after drinking Four Loko in combination with other types of booze.
Kids these days are such light-weights.
Four Loko, if you aren't informed, packs a punch. Just one 23 1/2-ounce contains 12 percent alcohol - and "modern day ingredients like Guarana and Taurine," as the drink's website says.
Other drinks have been demonized before, as the Seattle Weekly notes. But in light of the hospitalizations, the Los Angeles Times reports college officials and law enforcement agencies are being especially watchful of the drink made by Phusion Projects LLC.
When asked for comment, representatives for Johns Hopkins, Goucher, Loyola Maryland and University of Maryland said they have no official policy on Four Loko yet, but are monitoring the situation.
"At this time, the University of Maryland does not have an official policy in place regarding the consumption of Four Loko on campus. The product is not sold at the University," said Beth Cavanaugh, spokeswoman.
"As always, we encourage students of legal drinking age to make responsible decisions regarding alcohol consumption. We are currently reminding all of our students to be mindful of what is in the alcoholic beverages that they choose to consume. In the case of Four Loko, one can is equivalent to several beers and several cups of coffee; this makes for a dangerous combination. We want to make sure that our students are aware of this and think carefully about their decisions regarding alcohol and its use especially when combined with caffeine."
Tracey Reeves, spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins: "We know of no action on our campus similar to that taken on other campuses relative to the Four Loko drink."
Courtney Jolley, spokeswoman for the Loyola University Maryland: "While we do not sell alcohol of any kind on campus or allow drinking by students who are underage, we don't have a specific policy regarding these products. That being said, we are aware of the rising concerns surrounding their risks, and are considering developing a policy specifically addressing caffeinated energy drinks when preparing next year's student life policies."
Kristen Keener, Goucher spokeswoman: "Goucher does not have a specific policy addressing the consumption of caffeinated alcohol beverages on campus. This issue would fall under the general alcohol policy - students of legal drinking age permitted to consume these and other alcoholic beverages in their rooms in the residence halls, but not in public areas. Also, no alcoholic beverages are sold on Goucher's campus"