As some of you in Readerland might recall, SFBay reported a few months back about Marin County officials aiming to ban Four Loko and other “alcopops” — I know I know, the name is cheesy — from store shelves due to an insanely high percentage of underage drinking in the area.
Back then I argued that it could be because somebody needs to be doing a better job of educating these youngsters about how bad the hangover from that stuff is and so on and so on.
But evidently, the city of San Rafael thinks it’s less beneficial to strongly enforce carding for booze and better alcohol education, and is just getting rid of the stuff all together. The Marin Independent Journal reported Wednesday that the San Rafael City Council has joined Marin County supervisors in the fight to create an “alcopop-free zone.”
The push? A couple dozen teens rallying against the sugar-filled drinks and supporting the council’s decision.
18-year-old Jessica Sanchez told the Marin IJ:
“Looking back on my last four years of high school, most of my friends drank them. These drinks are so dangerous because they’re targeted at youth like me.”
Sanchez’s own efforts have been in play even longer than Marin County’s, She is part of Youth For Justice, a “social justice” group that has been fighting against the sale of Four Loko and its cohorts for almost a year now.
Supervisors Judy Arnold and Steve Kinsey started the initiative this past spring, urging retailers to stop buying and distributing alcopops. They argue that alcopops are “a minimal percentage of retailer alcohol sales but a huge percentage of underage consumption.”
The creation of an “alcopop-free zone” urges retailers to voluntarily stop selling many popular ready-made hangover-inducing concoctions including Smirnoff Ice, Parrot Bay, Jeremiah Weed, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Four Loko, … the list continues.
San Rafael Alcopop-Free Zone is supported by:
Albert Park Neighborhood Alliance
Families for Safer Schools
Marin County Advisory Board on Alcohol & Other Drug Problems
Marin County Dept. of Health & Human Services Prevention Hub
Marin County Pharmacists Association
Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth
Novato Police Department
Pharmacist Planning Service, Inc.
Santa Margarita Neighborhood Association
San Rafael Community Coalition
Sober Living in Mill Valley
Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth
YMCA – Marin County Youth Court
Youth Leadership Institute
Youth for Justice