Cocaine Energy Drink Sparks Debate with Lawmaker
By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma lawmaker wants a controversial energy drink pulled from store shelves in Oklahoma.
Representative Mike Shelton (D-District 97) is working on legislation to stop the sale of Cocaine, the energy drink, in Oklahoma because of its dangerous message to teens, but not everyone agrees with his position, including the founder of the energy drink.
"It is the best energy drink on the market," consumer Cory Rula said. "I have not found anything better."
He drinks about 2 'Cocaines' a day and doesn't want the energy drink banned in Oklahoma.
"I think there are other problems to be worried about other than an energy drink," Rula said.
Representative Shelton disagrees. He said he first learned about 'Cocaine' when he saw two young boys buying it.
"They were talking about it," Representative Shelton said. "They were happy they had it. I looked at it, went back to the cooler and they had a bunch of it."
Representative Shelton said he bought it all and brought it to the state capitol. He's now passed around 'Cocaine' to House and Senate leaders in hopes of stopping its sale in Oklahoma.
"It doesn't need to be sold in Oklahoma," Repsentative Shelton said. "There's no need for it. Plenty of other energy drinks that don't have ugly names like cocaine."
In a phone interview, a 'Cocaine' representative argued that the politician is just adding fuel to the company's fire.
"We thrive on negative publicity," the 'Cocaine' representative said. "That's how we launched our product."
'Cocaine' was introduced on the market three years ago. It's founder said the name was supposed to be joke, yet he also knew it would be controversial.
For Cocaine' lovers like Rula, he's hoping his favorite energy drink doesn't get taken off the shelves.
"I think they should fight for changing the name," Rula said. "Not just taking it out of the state."
Representative Shelton is looking for a bill to attach his legislation to. He said he's getting lots of support from both Democrats and Republicans.
'Cocaine's' founder, Jamey Kirby, said he's had problems with other states and the FDA, but most of the issues have been resolved.
NEWS 9 was the first to make him aware of the developing situation here in Oklahoma.