Prohibition of absinthe still exists in the United States of America. The reason is the thujone content of absinthe; US brands such as absente (marketed as “absinthe redefined”) contain no thujone. Needless to say a Czech absinthe without thujone would be like a Ferrari without an engine: pretty to look at, but it won’t take you for a spin 🙂 The absinthe from the Czech Republic has some of the highest thujone levels on the market and all perfectly legal… in Europe.
This article below is another kind of defiant independent Czech spirit that never fails to amaze. Let’s go back to 1928, the age of the First Czech Republic, a time — like now — of frenetic energy and growth in the Bohemian lands….
No restriction on the sale of spirits, wines or beer exists in Czechoslovakia;* but at Prague one Michael Maresch, picturesque anti-prohibition zealot, publishes a magazine quaintly devoted to urging Czechoslovak citizens of the U. S. to foment anti-prohibitionist sentiment among their neighbors.
Because the renowned Pilsner beer industry of Czechoslovakia would profit hugely by a repeal of the U. S. Eighteenth Amendment, Zealot Maresch has long enjoyed complete toleration and some quiet encouragement by the shrewd burghers of Prague. Last week however public sentiment turned bitterly against him overnight, when he printed what was construed as an affront to the political idol of Czechoslovaks, famed Foreign Minister Eduard Benes. As everyone knows, Dr. Benes was the chief lieutenant of President Thomas Garrigue Masaryk in their heroic and successful struggle to create the Czechoslovak State during the World War.
Yet Zealot Maresch wrote of Idol Benes: “If our Foreign Minister were not an abstainer, the Czechoslovak ship of state might steer a better course.”
After so wanton a scurrility the arrest of Editor Maresch was inevitable: but he gave further provocation by declaring: “The efficiency of the police of Prague would be increased if each policeman took an occasional nip of spirits.”
Soon sober and efficient Prague police, who do not think that Dr. Benes should tipple, tope, booze, guzzle, swig or swizzle, laid heavy hands upon Michael Maresch and clapped him into a cell.
28th May 1928 Time Magazine (Zealot into Cell)
For up to date information about absinthe in modern-day USA, don’t forget our firebrand friends at the Wormwood Society: