It would be irresponsible for Maryland not to allow the sale of Palcohol — powdered alcohol. People who want to ban powdered alcohol are not facing reality.
Let's get one thing clear from the start: Banning powdered alcohol is not about public safety; It's about the liquor companies protecting their market share and profits.
If it really was about public safety, then why aren't the critics of powdered alcohol calling for a ban on liquid alcohol, a product abused by millions of people, causing the death of tens of thousands of people each year? In fact, liquid alcohol is easier to abuse and misuse than powdered alcohol. Liquid alcohol is easier to conceal, easier to spike drinks with, easier to use to binge drink and much less expensive than powdered alcohol, which appeals to the underage drinker. So this isn't about public safety.
Even though liquid alcohol is a threat to public safety, we don't ban it. We've learned that prohibition doesn't work.
While the intentions by legislators to ban powdered alcohol are good, a ban will actually cause more harm than good. First, it will make it easier for kids to get hold of it — the very reason they want to ban it. A ban heightens demand for the product, and the government has no control over distribution. It can be readily bought on the street. A 15-year-old can buy marijuana on the street a lot easier than buying a bottle of vodka in a liquor store. Palcohol needs to be regulated to keep it out of the hands of youth.
Secondly, a ban will be a double whammy financially. The government will have to spend money they don't have to enforce the ban, and on top of that, the state won't realize the significant tax revenue from the legal sales of powdered alcohol, so it's fiscally irresponsible to ban powdered alcohol.
And lastly, millions of adults want to buy Palcohol and use it responsibly. And hundreds of businesses want to use Palcohol for its innovative solutions in medicine, energy, the military, manufacturing, aviation, travel, hospitality, etc. It is not the role of the government to deny the citizens and businesses the right to use the product. Whether you are for or against Palcohol, we don't want a nanny state. We want government protecting our freedom of choice, not imposing its own values on us.
Palcohol should be regulated and taxed just like liquid alcohol. It's the only responsible action to take.
Mark Phillips is the creator of Palcohol. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.