The Legality of Absinthe in America
If you search "absinthe legal United States" you'll see that absinthe is now legal in America. However, this wasn't always the case. Absinthe used to be illegal in America. The drink has a long and controversial history in the country, with both strong supporter and passionate detractors. However, many of the controversies around absinthe have been found to be baseless, which is why this alcoholic beverage is now legal in America.
The Legal History of Absinthe in the United States
Absinthe reached America from Switzerland and France in the mid-18th century. It quickly became popular among artists and intellectuals. Many artists exaggerated the supposed psychoactive effects of absinthe in their work. This lead to reactionary opposition from social conservatives. Absinthe was portrayed as being responsible for a variety of violent crimes and anti-social actions.
The opposition to absinthe in the United States was brewing at the same time as the general opposition to alcohol by prohibitionists. This lead to absinthe being banned in the United States. It was banned in 1912.
Absinthe Bans Around the World
As crazy as this may sound, the United States was far from the only country to have banned absinthe in the early 20th century. Belgium and Brazil banned the drink in 1906. The Netherlands banned absinthe in 1909, and Switzerland (the birthplace of the drink) banned it in 1910. Absinthe bans in these countries lasted for around 100 years before efforts from enthusiasts and distillers in these places gradually lead to the bans being repealed.
Why Absinthe Was Made Legal
There are two main reasons that the public perception of absinthe started to shift. First, scientific research proved the that supposed hallucinatory effects of the wormwood oil used in absinthe had been greatly exaggerated. Also, new European Union laws lead to the importation of the spirit into countries that previously banned its distillation within their borders. Many people discovered both the pleasant taste of absinthe and its mild effects.
Absinthe was never illegal in several European countries, including the United Kingdom. The drink started to have a resurgence in popularity in the 1990s, which spread to other countries. This lead to calls for absinthe bans to be removed in other countries in Europe and elsewhere. France removed its absinthe ban in 2000. The ban was lifted in the Netherlands in 2004. Switzerland and Belgium followed suit in 2005. The American absinthe ban was finally lifted in 2007.