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Powdered alcohol could be banned in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As the federal government gave the green light to the sale of powdered alcohol, a bill to ban the substance has passed the Senate and could pass in the House.

Powdered alcohol is a new product that was given approval by the federal government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

The powder is meant to be mixed with liquid and has the strength of a shot of alcohol.

Powdered alcohol plus water equals trouble to one Indiana lawmaker and his constituents.

“Just a bad product that can easily be accessible to young people and something that we don’t want to see in Indiana,” Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette said.

“The dried substance, I do not want that to be accessible to the young public,” concerned parent Pam Abney-Welsh said.

Pam Abney-Welsh has two kids and thinks this could be another way for teens to access alcohol.

“I just think there’s too much drinking in the state and I think we need to ban more of it and be more careful in teaching our youngsters to handle their alcohol,” she said.

The powder referred to as Palcohol has yet to hit the shelves, but Alting wants to ban the powdered booze before it reaches Hoosiers.

“Like we did spice and some of the others we want to be proactive on this not reactive,” he said.

He authored Senate Bill 6 to ban the sale and manufacturing of the product.

It unanimously passed the State Senate in Feb. and had moved onto House committee when the federal government approved the product for sale this week.

Because Palcohol could be coming to Indiana sooner than anticipated, the House fast tracked that bill.

“We’re going to try to get it through the process as quick as we can,” Alting said. “We’re changing the wording that it’s going to be effective upon passage.”

He hopes that bill gets to the governor’s desk before the end of March.

There are almost a dozen states that have already passed bans on powered alcohol.

Alting said he knows of at least 17 other states with active legislation to ban it.

There are versions of the powder that mimic vodka, rum and other mixed drinks.

But because it’s not on the market yet no one knows if it smells or how easily it can be hidden.