States Across The Country Are Moving To Ban Palcohol

By Valerie Tejeda 04/14/16

Over half of US states have already banned the powdered substance known as the 'Kool-Aid for underage drinkers.'

States Across The Country Are Moving To Ban Palcohol
photo via Shutterstock

California is the newest state to move toward banning powdered alcohol, also known by its brand name Palcohol, fearing it's the latest threat to young people looking for a cheap buzz. Palcohol is a dried version of alcohol that is intended to be mixed with beverages like Coke or orange juice. Adding one packet of Palcohol to six ounces of liquid gives you a cocktail with the same alcohol content as a standard mixed drink.

So far, 28 states have passed laws banning or restricting the sale of Palcohol. Its maker, Lipsmark LLC, is fighting an uphill battle as more states jump on the bandwagon. And on Monday, legislation to ban Palcohol in California received unanimous support from the state's Senate Appropriations Committee, which concluded that banning the product in California would not impose "any significant state cost to taxpayers," state Senator Bob Huff, who authored the bill, told the Orange County Breeze.

Though Palcohol was approved by the Alcohol U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau last year, it has yet to hit shelves in the U.S. And everyone from legislators to child advocates to industry watchdogs are bracing for the worst. "This product must not be allowed to reach store shelves," said Huff. "It presents an array of potential health problems 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." 

According to a 2013 study conducted by U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the "societal costs" for binge drinking was $32 billion for just one year. Law enforcement across the Golden State anticipate the sale of Palcohol will add to the cost. The California College and University Police Chiefs Association said giving young people access to Palcohol would spell trouble for California campuses. “Our organization is responsible for the protection of over three million students and employees at the campuses those students attend,” the organization wrote in a letter to Huff. “We are already on the front lines of criminal behavior rooted in overconsumption of alcohol and the injection of so-called Palcohol into the campus equation will only exacerbate existing problems.”

According to DNews, similar powdered alcohol products already exist in Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. So far, Lipsmark is still working on getting its production facility up and running. The company's website offers no timetable for when Palcohol will actually hit the market. 

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.