Although powdered alcohol hasn’t even hit U.S. markets yet, six states have already banned the substance over concerns that it could be abused.
Alcohol in powdered form is stirring national controversy – and it hasn’t even hit U.S. markets. In 2012, a man named Mark Phillips came up with an idea to create powdered alcohol (“Palcohol”), spurred by his love of hiking but distaste for carrying heavy bottles with him on the way. Six states have already banned the product - Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
Last month, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Mr. Phillips’ product for sale. However, individual states still have the power to regulate or ban the substance.
What initially drew negative attention to the product was a statement on Palcohol’s website that implied putting the product on foods like guacamole and even snorting it. Phillips has since clarified that those were never uses intended for the product, and that Palcohol is just as safe as any other type of alcohol when used responsibly.
Phillips’ later redaction may not be enough to convince state lawmakers of the product’s safety. Phillips even said he tried snorting Palcohol and the results were “painful” and ineffective in getting drunk quicker.
Opponents of the new product aren’t just concerned about snorting. They are concerned that the nature of the product itself could cause underage drinkers to be more inclined to use and abuse the product. And because powdered alcohol is smaller and easier to carry, underage drinkers could easily hide it, making it more desirable over bottled or canned drinks.
According to the product’s inventor, banning it may have a reverse effect and prompt even more underage kids to use the product. Opinions are mixed, overall. What is certain though is that alcohol can be abused regardless of what form it takes.