What is Palcohol and why should we care?
Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont already have banned powdered alcohol, also known as “Palcohol.” Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Colorado also are considering bans, Lawmakers in a growing number of states are considering banning powdered alcohol, a product that thankfully has not yet arrived in stores.
Palcohol could increase underage drinking. It is marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is mixed with water, each serving is the equivalent of a shot of liquor. Powdered alcohol is dangerous for many reasons. First, is the immediate increase in accessibility. Youth cannot legally consume alcohol or possess it. However powdered form makes it substantially easier to hide it, transport it, sell it and use it with little or no adult awareness. Secondly, it could increase the chance of injury and death. One serving may provide one shot of alcohol but unlike liquid alcohol, a person could add 1,2, 3 or more “servings” of palcohol to their drink to magnify the intoxication effects. It could be inhaled, or added to food with or without a person knowledge.
Mark Phillips, who created Palcohol, says in a video on the product’s website that it would be sold only at liquor stores to people who are at least 21 years old. He also defends his products by stating that powdered alcohol is no different than liquid alcohol but rather saves the burden of having to carry the heavy liquid with it… (Even though one would still have to carry liquid to mix the powdered alcohol with). The company lists many reasons why powdered alcohol is needed: Outdoor activities, camping, hiking, traveling, airlines and yes even the snack industry. This promotes the message that you cannot have fun without alcohol or that the simple pleasures in life will be better by sprinkling alcohol on it. The company very seldom addresses abuse or underage consumption other than to state “it will only be sold to those over the age of 21”. That is the idea with liquid alcohol, but it doesn’t stop youth from obtaining it.
The benefits of powdered alcohol are very, very small and will only benefit a very small portion of society. Are we willing to allow harm to the many to benefit a few? Please contact your legislator today or for more information contact the Kandiyohi County Drug Free Communities Coalition