In Oklahoma, we love freedom from laws and government regulation. Unless, of course, we're talking about the freedom to have a good time or chose what intoxicating substances we put inside our bodies. Then Oklahoma morphs into the Fran Drescher of Nanny states.
We were reminded of this last night by News 9's Steve Shaw. He took a break from working on his screenplay about a rough street cop who lost it all to tell us about the new "controversial" type of alcohol "aimed towards kids" that our legislature wants to ban.
Opposition is lining up against a new product that could soon be on the shelves of Oklahoma liquor stores. It's called Palcohol. It's powdered alcohol, and would sell for about four dollars a packet, or drink.
The federal government approved the product three weeks ago. However, five states have already outlawed the product. Twenty-eight other states, including Oklahoma, have introduced legislation calling for an all-out ban on the product.
Oklahoma Department of Health and Substance Abuse Prevention Director Jessica Hawkins said powdered alcohol would make alcohol more accessible to young people. "In Oklahoma there's action being taken right now to seriously look at this product to see if it's a good fit for this state," she said.
First of all, this is a stupid product. Second, how does it "make alcohol more accessible to young people?" Unless times have changed, it's still pretty damn easy for high school kids to score cheap beer and wine coolers and raid their parents' liquor cabinet. Also, kids are not dumb. Why buy a $4 single-serving packet of alcohol and mix it into a cup of water when you can drop two 25-cent packages of Kool-Aid into a $6 bottle of vodka and some water and get 20-times as much booze?
Here's what the founder of Palcohol had to say.....
Palcohol Founder Mark Phillips told News 9 Monday his product does not target young people as critics have charged. He said Palcohol would be available only in liquor stores, and would cost three times more than regular liquid alcohol. He said if the product is banned, it will still find its way into people's hands. He also said fears that people would snort the product are unfounded. He said that's because Palcohol is too painful to snort. "It's cheaper, faster, and less painful to get drunk on liquid alcohol," he said.
Ha, the fear mongers actually think people are going to snort this stuff? What the Hell? Not everyone in this world hangs out at the Blue Note and snorts every powdered substance they see at the bar.
Anyway, I think the most surprising thing about all this is that Steve Shaw is the guy who broke the story. I bet he sprinkles a little Palcohol on his ToasterStrudels in the morning. In fact, the Palcohol founder should hit up Steve to star in commercials. I envision something where Steve bursts through a wall into a dorm room screaming "Oh, Yeah! Palcohol!" while a group of young college students drink wine coolers and play Cards Against Humanity. After the dust settles and he looks around them room, he passes out on the floor into a pile of his own vomit.