State legislators in Wisconsin and Illinois have proposed bills that would ban the sale and distribution of powdered alcohol, which may enter the market in spring 2015 under the brand name Palcohol. Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), who proposed the Wisconsin legislation, reportedly compared the product to the synthetic hallucinogenic drug known as “bath salts,” which the state approved if they were labeled “not for human consumption” before banning them in 2011. He also apparently expressed concern that people could snort powdered alcohol, sneak it into classrooms and sporting events, or mistake it for another powder and ingest it accidentally.
Illinois State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) proposed a similar measure as an amendment to the state’s existing Liquor Control Act of 1934, noting that his “public safety bill” would combat “people spiking beverages.” Similar legislation is also pending in Ohio, Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, and Indiana. Further details about powdered alcohol bans in New York, Alaska, South Carolina, and Vermont appear in Issue 526 of this Update, and information about U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s call for a federal ban on the product appears in Issue 523.