Are We Going to “Take Palcohol Wherever We Go”?
“Palcohol” – powdered alcohol – was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Palcohol is the brainchild of Mark Phillips. After years of work, he developed a method for drying and packaging alcohol. You simply add the powder to water to create rum or vodka, or a mixed drink like a margarita or cosmopolitan. Their slogan is “Take your Pal wherever you go!”
Just hours after this news created somewhat of a furor of media attention, CNN and other news sources announced that the TTB reversed their approval, stating that an error had been made.
Was it an error or was it really regret? Were they pressured by legislators to revoke the approval?
And most importantly, was this product really very well thought out?
Their website, palcohol.com, presents a plausible logic. The founder of the company likes to be active out of doors and enjoys a drink at the end of the day on whatever mountain or river he finds himself on.
The company states that they have taken steps to prevent anyone from trying to snort this substance by adding a volume of extra powder to each batch so that a person would have to snort a ridiculous volume to ever cause any effect.
But one wonders about the possibilities for abuse. Would this powdered alcohol, if it is ever approved and makes it to market, create any increased opportunities for abuse by underage individuals? Would it make it easier for young people to conceal a source of alcohol from their parents? Would the novelty make it irresistible to teens? Would they get a kick out of eating an alcohol-infused food right in front of their parents without their knowledge? Would they carry a packet to a non-alcoholic party and just make their punch into a boozy drink?
There’s already an uphill battle to prevent alcohol abuse by teens and young adults. One more novelty, one more method that could make it easier to get this drug into their hands is not nearly as important as effective methods of prevention.