Prohibiting the Sale of Powdered Alcohol
This week I introduced Senate Bill 797 to the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee, which aims to outlaw the selling, offering or serving of powdered alcohol in Missouri. Powdered alcohol, also called dehydrated alcohol, is a dangerous new ingestible substance. As of 2015, powdered alcohol has been banned in some form in 27 states, up from only two states in 2014. Now is the time for Missouri to take a proactive stance.
My legislation would make the owning, selling, serving and purchasing of alcohol in powdered, crystalline or capsulated forms a class C misdemeanor. What makes this dehydrated form of alcohol more dangerous than other traditional types is that it can be easier and less conspicuous for minors to acquire. Since the product is in a powder, crystal or pill form, it can also be more difficult for a person to know just how much alcohol they are really consuming – which could lead to dangerous overdoses or alcohol poisoning.
One reason to be proactive in preventing the spread of this substance is the popularity of the product among youth. According to a survey, over 62 percent of University of Missouri students said they would try powdered alcohol if offered. Many of those could possibly misuse the substance, which can be incredibly dangerous when snorted or added to already alcoholic drinks. Even though the substance is dehydrated, the product can still cause adverse effects like liver disease, hypoglycemia and high blood pressure. Last year, the Missouri Poison Center received 1,700 reports of juvenile alcohol poisoning. If this substance isn’t outlawed in the state, our minors would be at a greater risk of harming themselves with alcohol than ever.
During the Transportation Committee’s hearing, I had several people voice their support for this proactive Senate bill. Representatives from the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, SSM Health, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Missouri School Board Association and Missouri State Representative and Hickman Hills School Board member Bonnaye Mims, D-Kansas City, all voiced their support for SB 797.
This legislation aims to keep a potentially dangerous and understudied substance out of Missouri and out of the hands of our state’s minors. While the case may be made that powdered alcohol could be used responsibly by of-age adults, the risk for potential harm far outweighs any benefit.
On another note, I would like to congratulate 21st District constituent, Mathew Martinez, whose appointment as the student representative to the University of Central Missouri’s Board of Governors was confirmed this week. I’ve known Mathew for many years, and am confident that he will represent District 21 and his hometown Warrensburg well in his new duties at UCM. Congratulations, Mathew!
As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 866-277-0882 (toll-free) or
(573) 751-2272, or by fax at (573) 526-7381.
Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.