Nothing learned

Posted: Friday, November 29, 2002

I'm writing about, "The New Problem Drugs: Meth" (Empire, Nov. 25). During the 1960s, I worked at a naval shipyard 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, 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 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 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 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, Ariz.



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