SANDY — A Republican state representative wants to outlaw a new powdered alcohol product in Utah amid concerns that it could be the most dangerously awesome thing ever.
The product, dubbed “Palcohol” by its manufacturer, is a powder mix of either rum or vodka that’s meant to be combined with water. It’s billed as a more portable alternative for campers and hikers, and it’s due to hit stores this upcoming spring.
But if Rep. Steve Eliason of Price has his way, state liquor stores won’t be making any space on their shelves for Palcohol anytime soon.
“I’m concerned that a product like this is going to be impossible to control, and the implication for underaged drinking could be that it’s way, way easier than you could ever imagine,” he said.
Chief among Eliason’s apprehensions is the possibility that kids might be tempted to snort the powder like a “fun version of drugs.”
“I could envision parties where wayward teens with bad parents do this,” he said. “Boys and girls, who probably don’t have enough clothes on, would gather around a table in a dark basement, push aside their pizza boxes and their Xboxes, and push their pimply noses into a pile of vodka crystals. It would be insane and recklessly amazing, I imagine.”
Eliason, who claimed the only time he’s ever had alcohol was when he accidentally consumed a Mike’s Hard Lemonade at a local trunk-or-treat event several years ago, said he was up all night recently, his mind disquieted by roughly 17 staggering new possibilities for alcohol consumption with Palcohol that he thought of.
“It just disturbs me deeply that some kid, sitting around playing with his Xbox and eating a pizza slice, he could suddenly think, ‘I should put vodka crystals on this pizza slice and eat it so I can get drunk from eating pizza, which is literally the coolest thing I’ve ever heard of.’
“Or what if a girl-kid is sitting around playing a girl-game with her pink Xbox, and she says to herself, ‘What if I took some vodka crystals and mixed it with my Slimfast? Or even better, I could mix some vodka crystals with Dad’s secret stash of Mike’s Hard Lemonade that no one knows about, and that way it would be like I was drinking two alcohols at once, and I could get twice as drunk twice as fast.’ I mean, God help that girl’s father, who remains anonymous for the purpose of this illustrative anecdote, if he overhears his daughter talking about mixing his secret stash of Mike’s Hard Lemonade with vodka crystals. I mean, there’s no way you can just ignore an earth-shatteringly brilliant, irresponsible idea like that.”
He continued, “The possibilities are frightening and endless. Like, someone’s wife could bake cookies with vodka crystals in them, and then you could make ice cream sandwich cookies with them, and the ice cream could have more vodka crystals in it. I bet you could make rock candy with vodka crystals. There’s something kids would love. For my part, I love candy. If I see candy lying around, you better believe I’ll eat it. And if that candy happens to have vodka crystals in it, then what am I honestly supposed to do? Stop eating that candy?”
Eliason plans to bring HB 48 to the Utah legislature in 2015. If passed, it would make it illegal to buy, sell, use, or possess most powdered alcohol products.