Some people do things because they can. I feel like that’s precisely the case here with “Palcohol” founder Mark Phillips. I don’t deny that he saw a use for his product and went after that, but no one in their right mind would look at powdered alcohol and think, “Oh, that’s a great idea!”
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol on March 10th.
On their website, Phillips complains that people have been focused on the negative aspects and possibilities of Palc0hol. He mentions that “no one has ever tried Palcohol so all the criticisms are just speculation.” Well… that’s true. Palcohol has not been made available to the market yet, but consumers have had experience with other powder substances – MDMA, (crushed) meth, cocaine, etc.
People are prone to abuse and overdoing things, testing their limits and, in general, being idiots. I’ve witnessed people crush an ecstasy pill, rail it, complain about how much it burns, and then do another. At a summer internship at a drug abuse clinic, I learned how tampons can be soaked in alcohol and then inserted to bypass the liver and go directly to the blood. People. Are. Stupid. If Phillips doesn’t think that his product has room for abuse, then he’s stupid, too.
It seems that he’s not a terrible businessman, though, as he does point out that there are “possibilities” for abuse.
“Listen, people can snort black pepper….so do we ban it? No, just because a few goofballs use a product irresponsibly doesn’t mean you ban it.”
I understand his argument to an extent – after all, goofballs will be goofballs. But when you open the public up to something like this, with the potential for abuse on yourself and others, it’s bad news bears.
The website, and probably the product, will be plastered with cautions of “Use responsibly” because they know that people won’t. It’s a legal liability waiver that essentially gets them out of trouble because, “Oh, but we provided a disclaimer. It’s the public’s fault how they use it.” Knowingly releasing a product to the open market that has a possibility for abuse is essentially third-degree murder in my opinion. Sure, you didn’t shoot anyone, but you loaded the gun, so to speak.
I’m all for drug legalization and such, but I think prevention and awareness are more of a pressing issue here. As more research chemicals flood the market while pure substances and harmless substances are subjected to Schedule 1 classification, potentially dangerous legal substances like powdered alcohol can enter the market. It’s a seriously backward system.
If you’d like, you can read how Phillips justifies his product on his website in a list of pros and cons.