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DFL Rep. Atkins proposes banning powdered alcohol

Posted by: Abby Simons under Minnesota legislature Updated: April 29, 2014 - 5:32 PM

A Minnesota lawmaker on Tuesday introduced legislation banning “Palcohol,” or powdered, freeze-dried alcohol experts say could be harmful, particularly in the hands of children.

“Virtually every possible use for powdered alcohol is nefarious, not to mention potentially dangerous,” the bill’s author, Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights. “The different flavorings make it appealing to children and students who could easily sneak packets into school. This powder could also be inhaled or snorted, bringing a whole new world of problems into play.

Powdered Alcohol, which is designed to be mixed with water for convenience, was approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, but that approval was quickly rescinded in the wake of concerns.

On its website, Palcohol founders say the product was designed for hikers and backpackers who could carry the product in a one-ounce package rather than lug heavy liquids, and defended the product, saying it could have other potential cost-saving uses.

Atkins said the popularity of the substance is growing fast, mandating the current legislation.

“We shouldn’t wait until next session to deal with this issue,” Atkins said in a statement. “We need to move quickly to protect public health.”

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