From The Des Moines Register, with a fresh coat of Whitening to Hit'n'Run:
A sweeping ban on alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine is the first bill in the Iowa Senate this year.
The proposal would prohibit the sale or possession of such drinks, as well as ban transporting or distributing them. Senate File 1 was filed by Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, D-Arlington.
Here's more from Hit'N'Run:
The bill defines "caffeinated alcoholic beverage" as "any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer, to which caffeine is added." Hence it apparently applies not only to drinks with a noticeable caffeine kick but also to coffee-flavored liqueurs with detectable amounts of the stimulant, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria, and any cocktails made with them, such as a Black Russian or a Mudslide. In addition to jail time and fines, violators would face revocation (not just suspension) of their liquor licenses, and therefore loss of their livelihoods—a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.
Here's some non-violent (but uncivil) rhetoric on the issue from Popehat:
“Why can’t you mind your own damn business, you nasty, officious, grasping little nanny-state twit?
.... Available press reports do not make it clear whether Brian Schoenjahn (1) only wanted to ban caffeine-enhanced canned drinks marketed to younger people like Four Loko, but was too stupid to draft a bill tailored to that end without outlawing a vast swath of traditional alcoholic beverages and cocktails, or (2) genuinely believes that it’s the rightful place of state government to ban Irish Coffee and Kahlua because Iowans are too stupid to drink it responsibly."
Meanwhile, please remember that thoughtful and important people want you to know that libertarianism is a fringe belief and that legislators are just regular folks whose service ought to be respected.
Yeah. Well.... If the purpose of government is to protect people like me from our bi-weekly Bourbon And Coke for our own good, I have another proposal for the Iowa Senate.
Check out these pics of a random Iowa Senate committee.
Which individual needs to be forcibly restrained from making any more trips to the "All You Can Eat Chomp'n'Chew Buffet" in Des Moines?
Brian Schoenjahn, the nasty, officious, grasping little nanny-state twit, has more chins than a Chinese phone book. He wants to deprive me of my bi-weekly Bourbon And Coke, should I ever go back to Iowa for another auction.
Therefore, I propose that the citizens of Iowa adopt The Schoenjahn Neckline Reduction And Cardiac Arrest Prevention Bill of 2011. The rough draft reads as follows:
This bill prohibits the manufacturing for sale, or keeping for sale, importing, distributing, transporting, or possessing of any carbohydrates intended for the gaping Statist maw of Brian Schoenjahn. The bill defines a carbohydrate as any consumable likely to in crease Brian Schoenjahn's shirt size. Appropriations will be made at a later date to hire regulators to follow Mr. Schoenjahn from Luby's to Captain D's to McDonald's, an activity which will surely save and create jobs for Iowans.
A violation of the bill’s provisions is subject to the penalty provisions of Code section 123.50. A violation constitutes a simple misdeameanor punishable by a fine of at least two Wendy's Gift Certificates but not more than four WhatABurger Gift Certificates. If found in violation of this statute, Mr. Schoenjahn will also endure 30 days hard labor at a Bally's or L.A. Fitness Center on a treadmill. The bill additionally provides that a violation shall result in the immediate revocation and surrender of Mr. Schoenjahn's Senate seat and his Cheesecake Factory Club Card. The bill will take effect upon enactment.
It's for his own good. He'll thank me one day.