LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Bill 4416 today to ban the sale, distribution and possession of powdered alcohol, which is marketed as Palcohol. Palcohol is sold in a 4×6 packet that weighs less than an ounce, and creates an alcoholic beverage when it is mixed with water.
“The federal government has cleared the way for state liquor commissions to prevent the sale and distribution of Palcohol, but I believe that the Legislature should take action and ban this substance now,” said Dianda. “I believe that allowing powdered alcohol sale and possession in Michigan would cause an intolerable public health risk because it opens many possibilities for both intentional and unintentional abuse. Simply put: we 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. Because it is a powder that only has to be mixed with water to create alcohol, someone could go into a bar or restaurant licensed to sell and serve alcohol and mix the powder into a glass of water and consume it without the server or bartender knowing. 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. Predators could slip Palcohol into someone’s drink greatly increasing its alcoholic content. And it also could increase the chances of accidental or intentional misuse by children and young people.
“Powdered alcohol that is made to taste sweet and marketed under names like ‘lemon drop’ and ‘powderita’ in a packet that looks a lot like Kool-Aid is a cynical attempt to target young people and downplay the seriousness of alcohol consumption,” said Dianda. “At a time when we are trying to better educate our children and young adults on responsible alcohol use, the easy availability of Palcohol if we don’t ban it could undermine our efforts and pose a real danger to our children.
“I look forward to working with my House colleagues to ban this substance before it becomes a serious problem facing Michigan families and law enforcement officials,” said Dianda.