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The Fight Over Powdered Alcohol In California Comes To San Diego

Cosmopolitans, martinis, gimlets are all popular cocktails, but the next new drink may not be made from any liquor on the market, it could be made from powdered alcohol or Palcohol. Alcohol safety groups say powdered alcohol is dangerous and should be banned in California.

A shot glass full of vodka and a regular sized glass a third full with powdered alcohol are equally potent according to Mark Phillips, creator of Palcohol.

“This happens to be powdered vodka and this is a shot of vodka. These are equal amounts of alcohol,” Phillips said.

Phillips insists his product is as safe as liquid alcohol.

San Diego’s Alcohol Policy Panel hosted a presentation from Jorge Castillo from the California Alcohol Policy Alliance. Castillo is working to ban powdered alcohol in California.

There are two bills in the California Legislature to prohibit palcohol SB 819 and AB 1554. Castillo said Palcohol is dangerous.

“Powdered alcohol you know you can easily hide it, conceal it, mix it with other drinks. We believe that it poses a public health danger,” Castillo said.

Castillo said working families will be the most impacted should powdered alcohol get onto store shelves.

“This product is going to be sold at corner liquor stores,” Castillo said. “The people that have the most to lose are families, working class families. That are just trying to make a living, that are trying to get by and they don’t need more problems.”

Palcohol creator Phillips said those looking to ban to his product aren’t being reasonable.

“They’re caught up in the hysteria about the imagined and unfounded miss use of palcohol,” Phillips said

27 states have a current ban on powdered alcohol. In California legislation to ban the substance is still in committee.

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