LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) testified on his bill, House Bill 4416, to ban the sale, distribution and possession of powdered alcohol, in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform today. Powdered alcohol, which is being marketed as Palcohol, is sold in a 4×6 inch packet that weighs less than an ounce, and creates an alcoholic beverage when it is mixed with water.“I thank House Regulatory Reform Committee Chairman Ray Franz for holding a hearing on my bill, because Palcohol poses a significant public health risk if we allow it to be sold in Michigan,” said Dianda. “This is a product that is manufactured to be abused. People could harm others by slipping Palcohol into someone’s drink or even their food. Teens can easily hide it from their parents. Snorting it causes instant intoxication. I am also concerned that it is being marketed in ways that will appeal to children. We just don’t need this.”
Powdered alcohol is created by freeze-drying alcohol with a host compound that keeps it from turning back into a liquid at room temperature. The powder is then mixed with water to create an alcohol. Adding it to someone’s drink could greatly increase the alcoholic content of that drink. Powdered alcohol could also increase the chances of accidental or intentional misuse by children and young people. It could also pose problems for restaurant or bar owners. Under Michigan law, establishments that serve alcohol are liable if their customers become dangerously impaired and cannot allow people to bring in their own drinks. Customers could mix this powder into a glass of water without the server or bartender knowing.
“Palcohol is one of those products that there is just no good reason for,” said Dianda. “Now that we’ve had a committee hearing on my bill, I hope I can count on the support of my colleagues to move this bill through the Legislature and to Gov. Rick Snyder to be signed into law.”