Md. Lawmakers Work on Banning Powdered Alcohol - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Lawmakers Work on Banning Powdered Alcohol

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(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

SALISBURY, Md. -- Powdered alcohol is the latest way to get a buzz on without the weight and visibility of traditional containers for alcoholic beverages.

But as soon as the federal government approved the sale of "Palcohol," Maryland lawmakers haven't wasted a day trying to curtail the invention from hitting shelves.

Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot secured a deal April 2 with alcohol distributors and wholesalers who have volunteered not sell to Palcohol or any other version in the state. But the powdered beverage isn't illegal in Maryland just yet.

One of two bills from lawmakers calling for a ban on powdered alcohol sales in the state may pass before the April 13 legislative session ends.

One version drafted by the state Senate calls for a two-year moratorium, while another proposed by the House of Delegates wants a 13-month ban.

Mark Phillips, the maker of Palcohol, says it easily dissolves in water giving the consumer the equivalent of one shot of alcohol.

Lawmakers say Palcohol's accessibility and versatility may entice children to use it and experiment with it. Some people in Salisbury say they have the same concerns.

"Liquid alcohol is harmful enough," said Anthony Littlejohn of Aquasco, grandfather to two small children. "It could be abused, not by adults, but by these [kids], and that's what we want to protect."

"I mean what if they sniff it," asked Brookyln De la Cruz as she spoke of her concerns regarding Palcohol. "You know it's powder. What if they go to school, get drunk."

But for some people 21 and over they say banning Palcohol is not going to prevent children from using it.

"Kids who are under 21 still get alcohol no matter what," said Dallas Jordan, a senior at Salisbury University.

"Whether it's from their parents, friends or just getting fake IDs, it doesn't matter. If kids want it, they'll find a way to get it no matter what," said Jordan.

"If you're going to ban that you might as well just ban all of alcohol. And no one's going to want that," said Alena Jackson, a freshman at SU.

Palcohol's creator says he intended to make an easy, on-the-go alcoholic beverage for people who don't want to lug around heavy bottles after outdoor activities such biking, camping or hiking.

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