Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 2004
Source: Watauga Democrat (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Appalachian Technologies, Inc.
Author: Kirk Muse



I'm writing about Virginia Foxx' letter: "Meth Must Be Stopped."

During the 1960's 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 meth of today was

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

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.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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