Pubdate: Sun, 16 May 2004
Source: Johnson City Press (TN)
Copyright: 2004 Johnson City Press


EDITOR: I'm writing about the meth danger story in your Sunday

During the 1960s I worked for the federal government and several of my
co-workers used amphetamines known as "mini-bennies" or "whites."

When these products were taken off the market and made illegal, the
seeds of today's meth epidemic were planted.

Today's meth labs are very similar to the illegal distilleries of the
era known as the "Noble Experiment." During our alcohol-prohibition
era, thousands died and thousands went blind or were crippled for life
from what was then known as "bathtub gin."

Like the meth of today, the "bathtub gin" was easily made from
household or industrial products. Like the meth of today, the "bathtub
gin" was a product created by prohibition. Like the meth of today,
illegal alcohol could be manufactured just about anywhere.

Like the meth of today, prohibition-era alcohol was of unknown
quality, unknown purity and unknown potency.

When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, almost 100 percent of the
"bathtub gin" producers went out of business for economic reasons and
they have stayed out of the business for economic reasons.

When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, our overall crime rate
declined substantially and our murder rate declined for 10 consecutive
years. Have we learned any lessons?

Not yet.


Mesa, Ariz 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake