Powdered alcohol: Ingenious or irresponsible?

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Palcohol creator Mark Phillips is hoping to get the product into liquor stores starting this summer. Palcohol creator Mark Phillips is hoping to get the product into liquor stores starting this summer.
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Valley man is getting the credit and the federal approval he needs to take his big idea to the bank.

The idea? Powdered alcohol.

Some people feel the product is ingenious, others say it's irresponsible.

"It sounds like a great concept," said Liquor Wheel manager Jeffrey Aranki. "I mean, it sounds convenient as opposed to lugging a big bottle of booze around or having to hide it in a purse when you go to a nightclub or something."

Palcohol creator Mark Phillips just cleared a major hurdle -- earning approval to sell four varieties of the powdered alcohol in the United States.

Aranki can't wait to get his hands on it. He thinks it will sell well.

"It's going to get a lot of curiosity in the beginning and if it tastes good, then it will have staying power," he said.

Not everyone, though, is as excited about Palcohol hitting liquor store shelves. DrugFreeAZKids.org is especially concerned about the fact that it's a powder, which can make it easy for Arizona's underage crowd to conceal and abuse.

"Alcohol is already very easy for kids to get their hands on -- they get it at parties, they get it from their friends, they pay people to buy it for them," said Thalia Williams with DrugFreeAZKids.org. "It's just another way for them to get their hands on it and then potentially mix it and cause overdoses."

Consumers 3TV talked to echoed some of those same sentiments.

"They could shake it up, put it in their water bottle and go to school, and nobody will think anything of it because it looks like Kool-Aid," Monique Hayes said. 

Phillips, who is based in Arizona, said he created Palcohol as a convenient way to enjoy an adult beverage after a hike or bike ride.

In a YouTube video, he responded to many of the criticisms that have cropped up.

"All of those statements couldn't be further from the truth," Phillips said. "Because they're ignorant about the positive uses of Palcohol and they're caught up in the hysteria about the imagined and unfounded misuse of powdered alcohol." 

According to his website, Phillips is hoping to get Palcohol into liquor stores as soon as this summer.
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