Absinthe of Malice?

Absinthe, banned in this country for nearly a century, may be making a comeback, according to Local6.com of Jacksonville, Florida:

Absinthe, a high-proof liquor that has been illegal in the United States since the early 1900s, has begun creeping its way back onto store shelves.

The green liquor that is sometime called the queen of poisons has been banned since 1915.

However, some companies have found away around the ban, WJXT-TV reported.

“It was outlawed because of the narcotic quality,” said Riverside Liquors owner David Joudi. “It’s already being imported into the states under camouflage of packaging.”

Read the rest at the link above. The alleged “narcotic” in absinthe is a substance derived from wormwood, one of the liquor’s ingredients, thujone. Thujone is toxic in high enough doses, but only trace amounts are in absinthe, and there are no known “narcotic” effects. The “narcotic” or “hallucinogenic” effects attributed to absinthe come not from any drug, but from the beverage’s high alcohol content. It is typically distilled to concentrations up to 160 proof, or 80% pure alcohol – far more potent than the average liquors, which range from 80 to 100 proof.

If you ate traditional sage dressing at Thanksgiving, you received a higher dose of thujone than you would have from drinking absinthe. Before you could consume a toxic dose of thujone from absinthe, you would die of alcohol poisoning. Sage oil, commonly sold in health food stores, contains many times the concentration of thujone present in absinthe.

Absinthe’s legendary “aphrodisiac” properties are likewise due to its high alcohol content, not any function of wormwood or thujone. As the old saying goes, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

There is no legitimate reason absinthe should be outlawed if grain alcohol can be sold. Free the Green Faerie!

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