Why is absinthe illegal in the US???

Discussion in 'Food & Drink' started by shreypete, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. shreypete

    shreypete Well-Known Member

    I had a random question as to why absinthe is banned in the US and why is perfectly legal in Europe?
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Well, in USA are banned even chocolate Kinder eggs :)

    As far I know, absinth was banned in many countries at beginning of 20th century due myth, by which it's dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug. This myth was later rebuted and European countries lifted their ban, but USA not.
  3. saillael

    saillael Well-Known Member

    A little clarification: the US is not the only country to ban absinthe. Certain provinces in Canada ban it, while others regulate the percentage of thujone that can be in imported absinte. Additionally, Vanatu (the New Hebrides) also bans the import and sale of absinthe.

    In France, unless it has changed very recently, the law prohibits the sale of anything explicitly labelled "absinthe." They label theirs "an absinthe- based spirit." Yes, that is what we call in football, an end run. C'est la vie.

    Switzerland didn't repeal its ban until 2005.

    In the US, absinthe that is thujone free can be bought and sold. Additionally, there is no law prohibiting the personal consumption of absinthe with artemsia absynthia, one just can't sell it or buy it from a US source.

    So why was absinthe banned in the US and other countries. Well because at the time of the banning, standards and controls were not always in existence or if they existed, not followed. Absinthe with too high a thujone content is very dangerous. It is a psychotropic drug that can lead to at least depression, but eventually, continued abuse can lead to convulsions and even death. One theory for Van Gogh's increasingly bizarre behavior which eventually led to his suicide is that he drank a lot of thujone rich absinthe.

    In addition to being a psychotropic drug, thujone is also flammable and more alarmingly, can cause genetic disorders. Wormwood used to be used to induce miscarriages, and so should be avoided by all pregnant women.

    I am sure that all absinthe mass produced today is free of the toxic levels of thujone, though I wouldn't want to try any homemade absinthe.

    Finally, the American center of absinthe, my hometown, New Orleans, has a new producer of the lovely green liquor. Check it out at this link:

    www.bestofneworleans.com/dispatch/2002- ... story.html
  4. petri

    petri Well-Known Member

  5. shreypete

    shreypete Well-Known Member

    Hey Sailael, I checked out the link....its kinda cool actually :wink:
  6. shreypete

    shreypete Well-Known Member

    hey Petri, agian thanks for the link...seems to me (From the article) that Bohemian absinthe is a much safer bet to try :wink: !!! Even though most of the effects of absinthe in the past were invalidated, it still seems to have some kind of psychological effect on humans....
  7. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    Man, absinth(e) is some scary sh!t if you don't watch yourself, even if it's not as poisonous as once thought. I saw some careless tourists drunk on it a few years ago and it was like watching a tape in slow-motion - movements, voices, and thought processing I'm sure, everything was slowed wayyyyyyyyyyy down. But, as long as you only do a couple of shots, and not on an empty stomach, it's probably not much different from any other hard liquor.

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