Last week, the University of New Hampshire announced a ban on energy drinks… and then took it back later that same day, after students pointed out the hypocrisy underlying the decision (a Dunkin’ Donuts is slated to open on campus shortly; a cup of coffee often contains more caffeine than a can of Red Bull). UNH’s mission “to be the healthiest campus community in the country by 2020” is vague enough to encompass donuts and taurine-infused sugar water after all.
Towson University faced its own soft drink ban controversy earlier in the week, when the school banned local restaurant Krazi Kebob from bringing samples to a school event because they also sell Hi*T, a perfectly legal organic hemp iced tea. The can prominently features a hemp leaf, but the drink itself is “legal, healthy, and refreshing,” according to the company’s owner.
Although a PR rep for the company insisted that the brand’s name is merely a reference to the long-standing English tradition of afternoon tea, Hi*T’s marketing team is clearly capitalizing on people’s tendency to associate non-intoxicating hemp with intoxicating marijuana (hence the name, the graphic design, the website’s insistent mention of “good vibes“). But should administrators really ban a product based only on some goofy graphic design? At least energy drinks are kind of bad for you…
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