Ever wished you could carry around your booze without the burden of lugging around the bottle, or hollowing out the pages of your Advanced Chemistry textbook to hide your flask? Well with Palcohol, the powdered alcohol that you simply add to water like a packet of Crystal Light, you can! Unless you live in New York. Then you can’t, because the Senate just passed a bill to ban it.
As someone who constantly looks for convenient new ways to alter my mind-state, I’m a little disappointed in New York. Why is alcohol in a solid state any more dangerous than it is as a liquid? According to Senator Griffo, “There are very serious concerns about the illegal use of powdered alcohol by young people, possibly even bringing it into schools or other events and locations that prohibit alcohol consumption.” Well, as per my totally true Chemistry textbook anecdote above, people will always find a way to sneak their alcohol into prohibited places, regardless of what form of matter it’s in.
However, that’s not his only concern. “There could also be dangerous health risks from snorting this product to get alcohol directly to the brain. It could even be sprinkled onto someone’s food or in their drink without the other person’s knowledge.” Fair enough, Griffo, these concerns are slightly more legitimate. But Palcohol’s website has its rebuttals ready for the Senate, stating that it’d be painful and impractical to snort the product, which would take about 60 minutes to snort the equivalent of one vodka shot. And as for the concern about spiked drinks, the site says Palchol “does not dissolve instantly in liquid and would take over a minute of stirring to dissolve the equivalent of one shot of alcohol into a drink.”
Not only does Palcohol refute the Senate’s arguments, it touts the many other beneficial uses of the powdered product, from the medical to manufacturing fields: “We’ve had medical personnel contact us about using Palcohol as an antiseptic. A livestock supplement company wants to use it. A Swedish and a Canadian inquired about using it in their windshield wiper fluid. There has been a great interest in using powdered alcohol as a fuel source.” See that, the Senate? We could solve the city’s energy crisis and sober livestock problem, if not for your stubbornness. (And no we don’t want to think about the fact that something we ingest can also be used as windshield wiper fluid!)
But in all seriousness, the Senate should probably be voting on more important things, especially since the FDA hasn’t even approved Palcohol for U.S. sale. That’s right, in April the FDA approved the product ‘in error,’ and quickly reversed its decision. Too bad we didn’t get a trial period for Palcohol like we did with Four Loko, before the FDA ruined that too.
[Update: Palcohol creator Mark Phillips contacted us to let us know it's actually not banned yet. "The bill must be passed by the Assembly and then it goes to the Governor for his signature."]