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CHICAGOIllinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker have demanded all Illinois marketing and sales of the Cocaine energy drink immediately cease. The attorney general has made the demand in a letter sent to California-based Redux Beverages, LLC, the manufacturer and distributor of the product.
This is a product that glamorizes illegal drug use, and it is highly irresponsible and reckless, said Attorney General Madigan. The State of Illinois will not tolerate its sale, especially to children.
Advertisements for the drink describe it as the legal alternative to the street drug cocaine, and promote the use of an ingredient in the drink that creates a burning sensation to simulate the throat-drip effect of using cocaine. The company is actively promoting the product and recently hosted a Cocaine Energy Drink Launch Party in Chicago.
Im concerned about this product because of the name its marketed under and because of its contents, said Dr. Whitaker. Calling an energy drink cocaine and marketing it to kids elevates an illegal drug and contradicts the message that kids need to stay away from drugs. Im also concerned with the amount of caffeine in this drink because excessive amounts of caffeine can be harmful and cause headaches, anxiety, nausea and even seizures.
In December 2006, prior to distribution and promotion of the drink in Illinois, Madigan contacted Redux to voice her concern that the energy drink would have a detrimental effect on Illinois consumers and may promote the use of illicit drugs, especially among young people. There has been no response from the company.
Madigan also informed Redux that if any Illinois consumer purchased this product, she may take enforcement action against the company. Madigan said the marketing and sale of Cocaine is in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act because it promotes the use of illegal drugs. She also said it violates the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because the company is marketing an unapproved new drug. Under the laws, Madigans office has the authority to obtain injunctive relief and civil penalties.
Madigan has successfully pursued enforcement action against manufacturers of similar products such as Chronic Candy Pops, commonly referred to as pot suckers. Her action in 2005 stopped the sale of the product in Illinois.
Assistant Attorney General Ryan Tyrell Lipinski is handling the case for Madigans Consumer Fraud Bureau.
from the June 6-12, 2007, issue