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Franchot calls for halt to caffeinated alcohol in Md.

By John Wagner

Franchot mug.jpgUPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: Franchot's office has released a joint letter from the Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association and the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association saying the two trade organizations have asked its members to voluntarily halt distribution of caffeinated alcoholic beverages.

"In order to act in the quickest manner, a voluntary action was needed and that is why I called for it at this morning's Board of Public Works meeting," Franchot said in a statement. "In this case, legislative action would simply have taken too long and put too many more lives at risk."

Meanwhile, the FDA has begun a crackdown, warning companies Wednesday that market the increasingly popular but dangerous beverages that the products are illegal.

Original post: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) called on the state's alcohol industry Wednesday to voluntarily halt the distribution of caffeinated alcoholic beverages, saying they constitute a "clear public health and public safety threat."

Franchot's public plea, made at a morning meeting of the Board of Public Works, comes as federal regulators are reportedly planning to crack down on the increasingly popular beverages.

Franchot, the state's chief tax collector, mentioned a news report that said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will announce as early as Wednesday that it has determined that caffeine is an unsafe substance to add to alcoholic beverages.

But Franchot -- frequently mentioned as a potential 2014 gubernatorial candidate -- said he did not want Maryland to wait for a federal regulatory action or state legislation to address the issue. He said he has had preliminary discussions and received positive feedback from the Maryland Beer Wholesalers Association and the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association.

"I'm hopeful that they will ... get these dangerous products off the shelves as soon as possible," Franchot said.

By John Wagner  | November 17, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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So much for a Rum & Coke huh?

Posted by: mwcob | November 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

They always complain that caffiene and alcohol just creates a wide-awake drunk behind the wheel.

The truth is that it is often the fatigue of staying awake long hours and drinking that makes a driver swerve and attract cops. A wide awake drunk behind the wheel is less of danger than a falling asleep drunk.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's just outlaw everything. This getting out of control. Forget the "Nanny state" complaints, I'm getting tired of the "Daddy state" which tells us what we can ingest, who we can marry, if a person has control over their own bodies and lives, etc. Stay out of my body, out of my bedroom, and out of my life.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 17, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

What is next McDonald's Big Mac or the Whooper. I can still mix Red Bull and Vodka and get the same effect. This is because Little Johnny and Jane we still in there car seats when there parents dropped them of to collage and they cant take any responsibility. They are just about to legalize weed but not this. Con on man!

Posted by: REDSKINSFANtiltheend | November 17, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The lack of good new jobs made me leave Maryland in the first and this is the type of stuff that makes me never want to return. Get use to this stuff especially since they couldn't block slots because the people voted on it and wanted it. Expect more of this until you vote them out.

Posted by: lastphalanx | November 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Isn't his job to collect taxes? Franchot has no business advocating something that would reduce tax revenue.

Posted by: geevill | November 18, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Four Loko should be outlawed simply because it is offensive to taste buds...the stuff is vile...

Posted by: unrest | November 18, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

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