Chicago Alderman Ed Burke wants to ban Energy Drinks in Chicago
In a Thursday City Council Meeting, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke proposed an ordinance that would ban “highly caffeinated” energy drinks in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. The ordinance would affect the sale of popular drinks like Monster Energy Drink and 5-Hour Energy.
In November, Ald. George Cardenas proposed to ban the sale of such drinks to minors. This ordinance would go a step further and would prohibit the drinks to anyone in Chicago.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the ordinance states: “No person shall sell, give away, barter, exchange or otherwise furnish any energy drink.” An energy drink is defined in the ordinance as “a canned or bottled beverage which contains an amount of caffeine exceeding or equal to 180 milligrams-per-container and containing Taurine or Guarana.” Those in possession of the banned items would face fines of $100 to $500 per offense.
The interesting point to note is that within the parameters of the ordinance, the ban would really be targeting the size; a standard 8.4 oz. can of Red Bull or a 16 oz. can of Monster would still be legally sold. The 24 oz. can of Monster would not. Ald. Burke has proposed this ordinance, he says, to combat the rising emergency room visits stemming from energy drink consumption. There have even been some deaths that may be related to the consumption of such drinks. According to Fox Chicago, a federal survey released in January indicates emergency room visits involving energy drinks rose from about 10,000 to more than 20,000 between 2007 and 2011.
I think this proposed ban is pretty ridiculous. As I explained in my very first post in late August, such bans are really an attempt to raise taxes. Last summer NYC Mayor Bloomberg banned large fountain drinks. However, a smaller size of the same drink is still legally sold in the city. Likewise, smaller versions of the “dangerous” energy drinks would still be sold in Chicago. If you really thought they were dangerous then why not ban them all together?
If I want to drink 64 oz. of soda or 24 oz. of an energy drink then I will be forced to buy two smaller containers. I will thus have to pay more to drink as much as I initially wanted. That’s why I think it is a tax. I don’t drink energy drinks nor would I ever drink 64 ounces of soda, but that doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t have the freedom to do so.
I have a problem when politicians try to pretend they actually care for our well-being. These “nanny-state” policies are ridiculous. First, it was large soda drinks. Now it is energy drinks. What’s next? Are our politicians going to be forcing us to follow a certain meal plan? Our politicians shouldn’t be trying to control our daily lives. As long as I am a law-abiding citizen who pays his taxes on time (a foreign concept to so many politicians) they need to leave me alone. Don’t they have better things to do?
What do you think?
Should energy drinks be banned?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate