SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) are reporting that the Senate Governmental Organization Committee unanimously passed AB 1554 today. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), coauthored by Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), had previously passed unopposed through the Assembly. It will prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, offer for sale, distribution, manufacture, or use of powdered alcohol in California and would make the violation of those provisions punishable with a fine.
"According to the 2011-2013 Healthy Kids Survey, more than 10% of 11th graders say their typical level of intoxication is to get drunk, and more than 20% said they had binged in the past month," stated Dr. Nancy Williams, Public Health Officer for El Dorado County. "Even 5% of 7th graders had binged in the past month! Considering all of the existing issues with alcohol, why would we want to add yet another potential source to the mix?"
"Powdered alcohol is a dangerous product, designed and marketed as a way to make super-charged cocktails on the go. Alcohol related deaths are already a huge problem in California and adding powdered alcohol to the mix is a recipe for disaster," said Assemblymember Irwin. "Today's vote reflects the overwhelming, bi-partisan support behind the powdered alcohol ban and I applaud my Senate colleagues for taking decisive action to protect public health."
"We applaud Assemblymember Irwin, Senator Hall, and all the other GO Committee members for their continued support of a ban on this youth-attractive, alcoholic substance," stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. "Alcohol Justice is honored to be a co-sponsor of AB 1554.
"As soon as this bill is passed by the entire legislature and signed by Governor Brown, California will join 32 other states which have already banned the product to protect the health and safety of our young people," stated Richard Zaldivar, Co-Chair of California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA).
SB 819, a companion measure in the Senate authored by Senator Huff, passed earlier through the Senate and the Assembly GO Committee. SB 819 and AB 1554 are supported by an impressive group of public health and safety advocates from across the state including:
- Alcohol Justice
- Association of California Healthcare Districts
- California Academy of Family Physicians
- California Alcohol Policy Alliance(CAPA)
- California Association of Driving Under the Influence Treatment Programs
- California Beer and Beverage Distributors
- California Craft Brewers Association
- California College and University Police Chiefs Association
- California Council on Alcohol Problems
- California District Attorneys Association
- California Friday Night Live Partnership
- California State Sheriffs' Association
- California Teamsters
- Children's Hospital Los Angeles
- City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- City of El Cajon
- City of Hayward
- Consumer Federation of California
- Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
- County Behavioral Health Directors Association
- County Health Executives Association of California
- County of El Dorado Board of Supervisors
- Dolores Huerte Foundation
- Eden Youth and Family Center
- Health Officers Association of California
- Institute of Public Strategies
- Janus of Santa Cruz
- Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
- Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance(LADAPA)
- Lutheran Office of Public Policy California
- Marin County Board of Supervisors
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
- San Fernando Valley Partnership for a Positive Pomona
- Placer County Board of Supervisors
- Pueblo y Salud
- San Francisco Prevention Coalition
- San Francisco Health Improvement Partnerships
- Saving Lives Coalition
- SHIELDS for FamiliesSocial Model Recovery Systems, Inc.
- Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
- The Wall Las Memorias Project
- Ventura County Board of Supervisors
- Youth Leadership Institute
Last March, Alcohol Justice requested emergency legislative action nationwide in response to news that the U.S. Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for the powdered alcohol product Palcohol. The TTB approval gave a green light to begin marketing it wherever legal. Since then, 32 states have permanently or temporarily banned powdered alcohol, while just three states regulate it under existing alcohol statutes.
"We know that every year over 500 underage alcohol-related deaths occur in California, while underage drinking costs the public $3.5 billion," said Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. "Today's unanimous committee vote sends a strong message that California will not allow this dangerous product to add more harm."
Contact: Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo, 213 840-3336
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SOURCE Alcohol Justice