Nazis Used Meth? 5 Things to Know About One of the World's Favorite Stimulants
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5. JFK Probably Did Meth, Too
The article points out that Adolf Hitler was given shots of methamphetamine by his quack doctor. The Nazis have not been alone in this regard. America’s President John F. Kennedy had the same done by his quack doctor, Max “Dr. Feelgood” Jacobsen. Jacobsen even accompanied Kennedy to his 1961 summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is unclear what type of amphetamine Jacobsen used in Kennedy’s mood-boosting shots, but an autopsy of another one of his patients revealed organs littered with methamphetamine.
Kennedy performed well despite his use of speed, as did the Nazi soldier in the Huffington Post article who wrote home begging for methamphetamine. (To see what Huffington Post defines as begging go here.) The Nazi soldier was Heinrich Boll. After the war Boll went on to write over 50 books and win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1972. This should not be surprising because, as the drug policy historian Edward M. Brecher has written, a large portion of the population was using amphetamines with little apparent misuse in the 1940s and 1950s. It was available without prescription until 1954 and was widely used by truck drivers and students to stay awake. And as fellow meth-media critic Jack Shafer has pointed out, the abuse that did occur was usually done swallowing pills of known potency and purity … unlike the smoking and injecting of adulterated amphetamines the drug war has now engendered.
Nothing in my article should be interpreted to belittle the tragedy of methamphetamine addiction, but to focus only on anecdotal stories of those suffering from extreme addiction produces a bizarrely skewed perception. If the only drinkers portrayed in the media were severe alcoholics, alcohol would be just as appalling to those with no experience with it. (It would arguably be even more appalling than meth if it too was forced onto the black market. Alcohol prohibition’s equivalent of makeshift meth labs produced alcohol that caused blindness, paralysis and death.)
By equating methamphetamine with Nazis, the Huffington Post has added to the sinister lore surrounding meth. This non-stop demonization and sensationalizing keeps the drug war going. It encourages people to believe that the locus of addiction is in the evil substance and not the user. It encourages people to believe that incarcerating every user and everybody in the supply-chain is better than helping the addicted with their underlying afflictions.
The drug war has had no effect on addiction rates, but it has cost Mexico alone over 50,000 lives in the last six years—over 10 times as many American lives lost in the Iraq war. It has turned large sections of our cities into wastelands and resulted in the mass incarceration of America’s black men. It has eroded the Bill of Rights like nothing else in America’s history. It is high time that someone sensationalized these evils.
For a full list of sources, visit Suburra.com.