FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff Introduces Legislation to Ban Powdered Alcohol in CA
Product Sends Wrong Message to Youth About Responsible Drinking
SACRAMENTO: Senate Minority Leader Emeritus Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) started the first week of the 2016 legislative session by introducing a new bill, SB 819, which will place a ban on the sale of powdered alcohol in California. The product, also known as Palcohol, is a freeze dried version of alcohol which comes in a small pouch and is the equivalent to a shot of alcohol. The crystallized formula becomes a cocktail once mixed with water. The product has already been banned in 27 other states.
“This substance is yet another drug that we should be concerned about and for good reason,” said Senator Huff. “Some are predicting Palcohol will become the ‘Kool-Aid of teenage binge drinking,’ and this is a concern I agree with.”
The ease of this substance presents an array of potential health problems in California as it can be snorted, added to energy drinks, slipped to unknowing recipients, or even added to beverages already containing alcohol in an attempt to create a dangerously potent concoction.
“Powdered alcohol is the most insidious, youth-attractive alcohol product to come along since alcohol energy drinks,” stated Richard Zaldivar, a spokesperson for California Alcohol Policy Alliance and Alcohol Justice. “The misuse danger, especially to young people, cannot be overstated.”
“Powdered alcohol is a product that is ripe for abuse, and can easily be marketed to children,” said Kat DeBurgh, MPH, Executive Director of the Health Officers Association of California. “From a public health point of view, powdered alcohol is unsafe for California’s communities. The time to act is now.”
Because this new drug can be easily sold and transferred, this is a prime product for abuse by children and teenagers. Alcohol-related harm to California youth can present itself in several ways including death, injuries, assaults, sexual violence, unsafe sex, suicide attempts, and academic problems.
“Alcohol is already abused by underage kids and drinking responsibly is a challenge for many adults,” said Senator Huff. “Adding powdered alcohol to this potent mix is akin to squirting gasoline on a wildfire. This is a problem that California does not need.”
SB 819 will now wait for its first policy hearing in coming months. Senator Huff is pleased the issue has achieved bipartisan support and is working closely with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) on a companion measure that has been introduced in the Assembly, AB 1554.
Senator Huff is the Senate Minority Leader Emeritus and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.