Punch,  32 (1857), 231.

Medicine Under the Maine Law



Letter, Spoof


Narcotics, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Practitioners, Government

    A spoof letter informs Mr Punch of the use of wine in medicine, a claim supported by reference to the use of the term 'Vin:' in prescriptions. Gives some of the technical descriptions of such drinks as wine and sherry. Inquires whether, given the identity between alcoholic beverages and medicine, the legislature should allow the American temperance reformer Neal Dow to prohibit the sale of wine, beer, and spirits by a Maine liquor law. Questions who would be allowed to prescribe liquor if its sale were placed under the same terms as medicines. Describes some of the shortcomings of empowering only qualified medical practitioners to prescribe liquor, pointing out that druggists' shops would have to be conveniently located 'where negus might be "put up", and punch compounded', and where the dose administered 'would be adapted rather to the desire than to the constitution of the invalid'. Complains about this further restriction on the liquor trade and anticipates the merging of the businesses of the druggist and the publican, the pharmaceutical establishment and the gin-palace, the 'Medical Hall' and public house.

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