Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan bullies producer of Four Loko - Liberty Justice Center

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan bullies producer of Four Loko

Last week Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan proudly announced a settlement that would allegedly ban the production of caffeinated alcoholic beverage called Four Loko. In a press release highlighting details from a 22-page settlement joined by 19 other states, the city of San Francisco and Four Loko’s Chicago-based maker, Phusion Products, Madigan boasts the agreement as the “latest effort to protect young people from harmful products.”

The announcement is extremely misleading, however; Four Loko, the signature drink of Phusion Projects, hasn’t contained caffeine or any other stimulant (including guarana or taurine) since 2010. So the agreement “bans” a product that, for all intents and purposes, no longer exists – and Phusion Projects has already announced that sales of Four Loko, caffeine free for four years now, will continue.

Conspicuously missing from the press release is the fact that Madigan and the other attorneys general were able to shake down Phusion Projects for a $400,000 fee as part of the settlement.

The most bizarre part of the story, however, are the marketing bans in the settlement that force Phusion to surrender its First Amendment rights. The most ridiculous of the rules is that Phusion may not hire actors “under the age of 25 or who appear to be under the age of 21” to promote its alcoholic products, supposedly since it would “confuse” people about whether underage drinking is illegal or not. Since virtually everyone knows the legal drinking age is 21, this is a solution in search of a problem.

Further rules stipulate that Phison cannot “promote flavored malt beverages on school or college property” or “promote” binge drinking, drinking while driving, and a host of other undesirable behaviors. Many college students are 21 or older, and so there’s no legal basis for restricting what alcoholic beverages they have access to.

This sort of thing is typical for Madigan, who has made a habit out of harassing companies over marketing. Whether complaining to retailers that cigarette sales “normalize” smoking, or browbeating Urban Outfitters into discontinuing their parody  “prescription” coffee mugs because they supposedly make light of prescription drug use, our attorney general’s campaigns demonstrate an obsession with controlling the mere appearance of legal products she doesn’t like. She would do better to stick to her actual duties of upholding the Constitution and addressing actual law breaking that actually threatens Illinoisans.

Want to Learn More?

You might Also like

Former ASU Student Appeals Conviction for Distributing Constitution- Newsmax

This article by Nicole Wells was published January 27, 2023 on  Former Arizona State Student Appeals Conviction for Distributing Constitution Copies Liberty Justice Center filed an appeal on behalf of a former Arizona State University student who was convicted of trespassing when he handed...

Virginia’s Discriminatory Ambassador Program – Courthouse News Service

This article by Joe Dodson was published December 8, 2022 on Virginia parents argue school ambassador program is discriminatory. Three Loudoun County parents say the school district’s student ambassador program, meant to combat systemic racism, discriminates against students based on their race and viewpoints....