The US Government Used to Poison Alcohol During Prohibition—It Killed Thousands of People

Many of us will enjoy alcohol during the holidays—and other days for that matter. It is something millions of adults find pleasure in and enjoy, for the most part, responsibly. But there was a time in this country, a dark time, when having a drink could get one arrested. In fact, the federal government even insisted that solvent makers spike the alcohol they distilled for industrial purposes with poison to reduce it’s use for intoxicating purposes.

Zealotry is always righteous and often lethal.

First, the government sought to merely make industrial booze taste so bad, that the alcohol was undrinkable. But, when that didn’t work, the government upped the ante and insisted that manufacturers poison their product. In New York alone, during the Christmas of 1926, 400 people died because of government mandated poisoning.

They died. Because they had a drink.

Government can do, and often does some very nasty things. Something to always keep in mind.

(From Slate)

The results were immediate, starting with that horrific holiday body count in the closing days of 1926. Public health officials responded with shock. “The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol,” New York City medical examiner Charles Norris said at a hastily organized press conference. “[Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible.”

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