A bottle of Jack Daniels is 80 proof, meaning it contains 40% alcohol by volume. Grain alcohol is 190 proof, which means it’s twice as strong as whiskey. As you can imagine (or may have experienced, back in your wilder days), any drink that’s 95% alcohol can get you very drunk, very quickly. Which is exactly why Maryland lawmakers are trying to ban it.
“It’s odorless, tasteless, and colorless, which, when combined with its potency, makes it incredibly dangerous,” David Jernigan, director of Johns Hopkins’s Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, told the Hopkins Hub. It’s also fairly common on college campuses, perhaps because college students are too young to know better. Jernigan also noted that students say that grain alcohol, sometimes sold under the brand name Everclear, is used by some as a date rape drug. “We can reduce the danger in the beverages kids are selecting. At the end of the day, this is all about trying to protect kids,” he says.
Last week, the state senate voted to pass a bill banning the sale of anything 190 proof or above, and lawmakers expect the bill to be voted on by the full House of Delegates shortly. But we’ve been here before; in recent years, the Senate has twice passed a ban only to see the House committee kill it. Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania have all already enacted bans on 190 proof liquor.
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