SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice and the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) are reporting that the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously passed SB 819 today. This occurred despite a lone plea of opposition by Arizona-based Palcohol producer Mark Phillips. The bill, authored by Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), coauthored by Assemblymember Jacquie Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), had previously passed unopposed through the Senate. 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.
"Permitting the sale of powdered alcohol in California sends the wrong message to youth and young adults about responsible drinking," said Senator Huff. "Although labeling for this product has already been approved on the federal level, it's now incumbent on each state to decide if this product should be sold in local neighborhood stores. We need to stop this product before it reaches the market."
"We applaud Senator Huff, Assemblymember Gray (D-Merced), Chair of the GO Committee, and all the 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. "When this bill is passed by the entire legislature and signed by Governor Brown, California will wisely join 32 other states which have already banned the product to protect the health and safety of our young people."
AB 1554, an identical measure in the Assembly authored by Assemblymember Irwin and co-authored by Senator Huff, has passed through the Assembly and will be heard in the Senate GO Committee next Tuesday (6/14). Both SB 819 and AB 1554 are supported by an impressive group of public health and safety advocates from across the state including:
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 AssociationCalifornia Council on Alcohol Problems
California District Attorneys Association
California Friday Night Live Partnership
California State Sheriffs' Association
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
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 and in California 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 regulating 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."