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Proposed bills to ban powdered alcohol on pause

A new form of alcohol that some consider dangerous might be coming to Missouri.

Wednesday, a senate committee heard two bills that would ban powdered alcohol, or “Palcohol”, across the state. But Thursday, the committee chose not to vote on one bill and took the powdered alcohol amendment out of the other, making the product legal in Missouri for the meantime.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved powered alcohol in March. And according to the Palcohol company’s website, it will be available in stores and online starting this summer.

This legislative session, Missouri House representatives tried passing at least four separate bills that would ban powdered alcohol. But right now, all of those proposed bills are on pause.

Many people consider powdered alcohol to be a dangerous product because of its strength and say the way it is packaged could make it easier to conceal. Rep. Patricia Pike, (R)-Adrian, proposed a bill that would ban the sale and service of the product and make it illegal to have it in your possession.

“It is a very high concentrated dose that could be overused or misused,” Rep. Pike said. “We had testimony from the Missouri Poison Center and childrens’ hospitals around the state, pediatricians, law enforcement, some areas of the schools and that education process so you know we’re hearing from a lot of different areas.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there have been nearly 80 proposed bills on powdered alcohol in the U.S. so far in the 2015 legislative session.

Pike said Missouri is one of the only states in the Midwest that does not have a law about the product.

“In the Midwest around Missouri, there are eight states that surround us,” Rep. Pike said. “Seven have enacted or are working on legislation. Of the seven, five their legislation was to ban it and two was to regulate it. And only Arkansas in my research and Missouri were left in the Midwest still looking at this issue.”

Rep. Andrew McDaniel, (R)-Deering, proposed a bill with an amendment similar to Rep. Pike’s bill. But the amendment about powdered alcohol was dropped Thursday morning by a senate committee.

“Seeing that its 75 proof to 100 proof on up in a powdered form, I can see people in my area doing, snorting it and smoking it probably, doing whatever just experimenting with it,” Rep. McDaniel said.

Rep. Jim Neely, (R)-Cameron, and Rep. Steve Cookson, (R)-Poplar Bluff, also proposed bills that would ban powdered alcohol this session.

But both Rep. Pike and Rep. McDaniel said no bills banning the product will pass this session. The two representatives said the House and the Senate have an agreement to hold off on the issue until next legislative session when the two branches can work on identical bills together.

Abc 17 checked with liquor stores around Mid-Missouri to see if they plant to carry powdered alcohol this summer. HyVee and Arena Liquor said they will not be selling it. And other stores including Macadoodles, Loop Liquor, Dirt Cheap and Abiys International Wines & Liquor said they have not heard anything about the product from distributors yet.

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