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«Battle Cry Magazine September 196X Stanley Publications ABSINTHE – THE HELL-DRINK THAT CAN PUT YOU IN YOUR GRAVE by HAL POLLING It promised to be a ...»

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This brutal crime threw the townpeople of Commugny into panic, they bombarded the Vallis canton legislature with petitions until absinthe was banned in 1907. The same year, a French investigating team checking over 9,932 cases of insanity caused by alcohol found that absinthe figured in nearly half. The next year Switzerland outlawed absinthe sales throughout the country. The Italians followed suit in 1913.

As the years went by, French retailers and distillers of absinthe fought its prohibition, claiming that such a step was a prelude to total prohibition. But in 1915, as part of the war effort, the French government forbid the sale of absinthe and banned its use in the armed services. The government paid off absinthe distillers, and absinthe devotees learned they could get just as much kick and a lot less trouble from a variety of liquors that tasted like absinthe. Among them are Ricard’s (made in Marseilles), Pernod (New Jersey), and Herbsaint (New Orleans).

Today, true absinthe is a rarity. While you may find a dusky beauty in New Orleans who assures you that "Daddy makes absinthe" and Swiss' innkeepers will say there's nothing like some homebrewed absinthe to beat the summer heat, absinthe is legally available only in England, Spain and Luxembourg. These countries clamp an iron hand on exports.

In any case, this is one more time the Greeks really had a word for it. Absinthe, that is. It means either "without sweetness" or "impossible to drink." The Greeks were right on both counts.

I have made very occasional small changes to punctuation and paragraph formatting in the interests of intelligibility, but the sometimes idiosyncratic spelling used in the original article has generally been left unchanged, as have the various factual errors.

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