Kentuckians sip their bourbon, and have also been known to cook with it. But inhale it?
The very idea of bypassing the taste buds seems sacrilegious in
a state that claims to produce the world's best bourbon, which
generates more than $1 billion a year in sales.
State officials are pushing to ban a device that vaporizes liquor and allows people to inhale the intoxicating fumes for a quick high without
the burn of hard liquor.
Teresa Barton, head of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control
Policy, said banning alcohol vaporizers is a matter of public
safety, not preserving the state's sipping whiskey industry. She
said such devices could become "a real deadly trap" because they
have "no purpose other than to get you drunk."
So far, 17 states have banned them, including California, New
York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and several others
are considering doing so, said Sherry Green, executive director of
the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.
Tennessee, the home of Jack Daniels, already prohibits the vaporizers.
"When you inhale alcohol right into the lung tissue, that gets
drawn right into the blood supply immediately, so it's a very rapid
onset of the intoxicating effect, and so has obviously very high
abuse potential," said Robert Walker, an assistant professor at
the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)