Pubdate: Mon, 12 Aug 2002
Source: Sun, The (WA)
Copyright: 2002 SunLink
Author:   Kirk Muse

Methamphetamines: Look at Prohibition

To the Editor:

I'm writing about your series, "The Meth Toll": In the late 1960s and early 
'70s, I worked at the  Naval Shipyard and several of my co-workers used 
amphetamines called "mini-bennies" or "whites."

When these products were taken off the market, meth was reborn.

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 and 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 
and 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, 
potency and purity.

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

When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, the U.S. murder rate declined for 
10 consecutive years. Have we learned any lessons?

Not yet.

Kirk Muse - Mesa, Arizona
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom