Youngblood praises Acosta amendment banning powdered alcohol; hopes for swift state Senate approval

HARRISBURG, June 25 – Saying it codifies current Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board policy, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., praised today’s House passage of H.B. 1196, which includes an amendment from state Rep. Leslie Acosta that bans the sale, use and possession of powdered alcohol, or "Palcohol," in Pennsylvania.

Youngblood said the language inserted by Acosta would protect consumers from the potential dangers of powdered alcohol, which the LCB has banned from sale in state stores. Powdered or crystallized alcohol is freeze-dried alcohol, packaged in small packets to allow users to mix the powder with water.

"Should minors ever get hold of this product, it would add to an already long list of drugs that are adversely impacting too many young people," Youngblood said. "While current LCB policy is commendable, without a bill outlawing this product, that policy could be changed by a future administration with potentially disastrous results."

Youngblood said a product invented by a hiker who wanted a quick and easy way to concoct an alcoholic drink at the end of the day should not be mass-marketed. The veteran representative, who serves as secretary of the House Democratic Caucus, noted that several states – including Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia – have already banned powdered alcohol, while several others are considering the move.

"I am pleased that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives recognizes the potential dangers of the availability of this type of drug – and I hope the state Senate acts swiftly to follow our lead," Youngblood said. "The potentials for abuse, by minors and adults, and the resultant negative impacts on health costs necessitate us nipping this in the bud."