Last week I noted National MP Paul Hutchison's sudden interest in absinthe, and wondered aloud what his purpose might me. He's since filed more written questions, which make it crystal clear:
2395: Further to the reply to question for written answer 1790 (2008), will he make any restrictions on the availability and manufacture of Absinthe in New Zealand?So, it's about pedophobia and wowserism then. Colour me unsurprised.
2396: Further to the reply to question for written answer 01791 (2008), is he concerned that people could develop unwanted side effects by drinking Absinthe; if not, why not?
2397: Further to the reply to question for written answer 01791 (2008), is he concerned that young people might use Absinthe as a party drink to substitute for party pills; if not, why not?
Hutchison is presumably concerned about the legendary hallucinogenic effects of absinthe. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually work. According to Wikipedia,
Today it is known that absinthe does not cause hallucinations, especially ones similar to those described in 19th century studies. Thujone, the supposed active chemical in absinthe, is a GABA antagonist and while it can produce muscle spasms in large doses, there is no evidence that it causes hallucinations. It has been speculated that reports of hallucinogenic effects of absinthe may have been due to poisonous chemicals being added to cheaper versions of the drink in the 19th century, to give it a more vivid colour.All absinthe makes you is drunk. It's a clear-headed drunk, but you can get the same effect much cheaper with Irish coffee. But given his overwhelming concern that somewhere, somehow, a young person might be having fun, Hutchison will no doubt suggest that we ban that too.