Pubdate: Sun, 30 May 2004
Source: Salisbury Post (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Post Publishing Co.
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Regarding U.S. District Attorney Anna Mills Wagoner's May 24 op-ed, 
"Combating meth labs is a community effort":

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 with the U.S. 
Drug Abuse Regulation and Control Act of 1970 the seeds of today's meth 
epidemic were planted.

Today's meth problem is at least 100 times greater than our amphetamine 
problem of the 1960s. During the 1960s amphetamines could be legally 
purchased at local pharmacies for pennies per dose.

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

When 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.

When 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.

- -- Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager