Pubdate: Wed, 01 May 2002
Source: Baltimore Chronicle (MD)
Copyright: 2002 The Baltimore Chronicle and the Sentinel
Author: Kirk Muse


Thank you for publishing A. Robert Kaufman's outstanding letter, "Lockstep 
Blind Politicians" (4-3-02). When Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of 
caffeine and sold for 5 cents a bottle, "drug-related" crime didn't exist. 
Neither did drug dealers, as we know them today, nor drug lords or drug 

When pure pharmaceutical grade Bayer heroin was legally sold in local 
pharmacies for about the same price as Bayer aspirin, deaths from 
recreational drugs were very rare. That's because the drugs were of known 
quality, potency and purity.

Today recreational drugs are of unknown quality, unknown potency and 
unknown purity--not unlike the "bathtub gin" of our grandfathers' era. 
During that era, known as alcohol prohibition, thousands died and thousands 
went blind from drinking illegal, home-made alcohol.

When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, the U.S. murder rate declined for 
10 consecutive years.

Have we learned any lessons from this? Not yet.

Kirk Muse

Mr. Muse writes from Mesa, AZ.
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