Several local beverage retailers, including , have lent their support for Marin’s alcopop-free campaign.
“This is a particularly important idea to engage our retailer community in support of our youth around the most serious and prevalent drug use in our county,” Supervisor Steve Kinsey said at the Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting.
The campaign urges retailers to voluntarily refuse to stock, sell or market alcopops–defined as sugary, malt alcoholic beverages–in their stores in order to protect youth from consumption. Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution outlining the campaign in their Tuesday meeting.
Alcopop sales make up a small percentage of overall alcoholic sales, but underage drinking involve such drinks, according to a resolution presented by Kinsey and Supervisor Judy Arnold.
Many alcopops contain 12 percent alcohol, which is equivalent to five beers and considered to be binge drinking. Many criticize the marketing and low cost of these fruity alcoholic beverages, such as Four Loko and Bartles & Jaymes, are targeted at underage drinkers.
“The county will set a precedent for like-minded people around the country to follow and organize to remove these dangerous products from our communities,” United Markets CEO Bill Daniels wrote in a letter supporting the campaign.
Andy Bachich, owner of , also pledged his support of the resolution and said he “will help recruit the other independent grocers.”
Although Marin was recently named the healthiest county in California, it ranked above average for excessive drinking.
Joe Feria, a sophomore from and a member of Canal neighborhood organization Youth for Justice, is one student advocating in support of the resolution. Feria and his classmates participate in the Canal clean up project every month, where he and his peers find many alcopop bottles discarded among the trash. An underage friend of his also drinks Four Loko.
“We hope this continues to spread around the country to create safer communities for their youth,” he said.