Palcohol Isn't in Stores Yet, but States Have Already Banned It

Palcohol, the new powdered alcohol that promises to be portable, potent and, with the addition of water, potable hasn't hit store shelves. But several states have already banned it.


Photo by: Tadeusz Wejkszo

Tadeusz Wejkszo

Palcohol, the new powdered alcohol that promises to be portable, potent and, with the addition of water, potable hasn’t hit store shelves yet. Currently awaiting label approval, it may not do so until next spring. But that hasn’t stopped several states — Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont – from banning it. Yes, already.

Minnesota, Ohio and New York are also considering pre-emptive bans on powdered liquor, and according to the Associated Press, you can now add Colorado to that list.

Officials in Colorado have expressed concern that Palcohol, each serving of which is equivalent to a shot of strong hooch like vodka or rum, will promote underage drinking. They worry that kids will smuggle it into schools and sporting events and consume it in unorthodox ways.

Chris Johnson, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, expressed support for “proactive” legislation. “It really doesn’t have any place in our society, powdered alcohol,” Johnson told the AP. “We have enough problems with the liquid kind.”

Johnson says he’s afraid kids might “sprinkle it on top of their Wheaties for breakfast” and elevate their risk for alcohol poisoning.

Palcohol’s makers, meanwhile, deny that the product poses a danger, advocate an approach that includes taxing and regulation, and insist that banning it will only create “a black market which means the state loses all control over it.” In that case, the company contends on its website, “underage people can get a hold of it much easier,” adding, ominously, “We know from experience that Prohibition doesn't work.”

The company also sniffs at the suggestion that people may snort Palcohol, noting on its website that Palcohol is “painful to snort due to the alcohol,” as well as “impractical.” How so? Well, the site notes, “It takes approximately 60 minutes to snort the equivalent of one shot of vodka. Why would anyone do that when they can do a shot of liquid vodka in two seconds?”

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