MOUNT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN
A new law making powdered alcohol (Palcohol) illegal in Michigan goes into effect January 26, 2016. The act bans the sale, distribution, and possession of the substance- unless it relates to scientific research.
When used properly Palcohol affects the consumer just like traditional liquid alcohol would. However, supporters of the new law argue that Palcohol puts its users at risk for more highly concentrated alcoholic beverages and also increases the chance of people “spiking drinks”.
With flavors such as ‘lemon drop’ parents, and law-makers worry about the effect Palcohol could have on underage drinking. The Detroit Free Press reported that a nation wide poll done by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital revealed that over majority of parents supported an “all-out ban on the powdered spirits, packaged for on-the-go”. Whereas roughly 85% would like to see restrictions on the way it’s marketed, and 84% want a ban on the online sale Palcohol.
In an article written by Ashlee Krawczyk of The State News , Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) stated that his priority remains with the safety of Michigan youth, and he believes that Palcohol’s marketing strategies appeal to kids. “Prohibiting powdered alcohol is the best way to protect our children from a product marketed with flavors like lemon drop” Jones said in a press release. “Powdered alcohol could be easily abused, even without a person’s knowledge” (Sen. Rick Jones).
Excessive drinking can lead to poor choices and situations that are not favorable for anyone involved. Brown University states that:
- 55% of female students and 75% of male students involved in acquaintance rape admit to having been drinking or using drugs when the incident occurred.
- 90% of all campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the assailant or the victim
- As many as 70% of college students admit to having engaged in sexual activity primarily as a result of being under the influence of alcohol, or to having sex they wouldn’t have had if they had been sober.
Despite Palcohol being banned college students, or anyone that plans on consuming alcohol, should be aware of the dangers that come with being under the influence. Michigan legislature is adamant that Palcohol creates an unnecessary and increased risk in regards to consuming alcohol.
Tyler B. Webb
Senior Law Clerk, Levitt Law Firm