Absinthe : The Misunderstood Alcohol but Legal Since 2007

During the COVID-19 lockdown, several state governments temporarily relaxed certain alcohol consumerism laws, to which many had asked if absinthe is legal? Apparently, not many among the older generation of alcohol drinkers were not aware that since 2007, the controversial liquor is no longer prohibited.

The confusion mainly arises from the fact that absinthe was declared illegal even before The Prohibition. That is why many were surprised to find absinthe included among the list of choices available for drink delivery purchases.

The Banning of Absinthe During the 19th Century Era

The ban was imposed in 1912, years ahead of of the ratification of The Prohibition Act (The 18 Amendment) in 1919.

Apparently, this alcohol drink has been largely misunderstood due to its link to the alcohol addiction of several famous 19th century and modern day artists: Bohemian painters, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edouard Manet, Pablo Picaso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, literary artists Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemmingway, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, are only some of the world-renowned artists who were heavily addicted to drinking absinthe.

Absinthe was greatly favored because, before it became an alcoholic drink, it was first introduced as an elixir. Most 17th century physicians prescribed absinthe for calming menstrual cramps, rheumatism, jaundice, anemia and even childbirth labor pains. The medical prescription originated from ancient Greek healers who formulated the concoction by soaking wormwood in wine or liquor.

In the 1800’s, the basic absinthe elixir recipe had evolved into a formulation for liquor production in Switzerland and later in France by a young French distiller named Henri-Louis Pernod. The rest is history, as the Pernod absinthe distillery and factory, had since then became a huge success.

The problem however, is that many went into concocting their own, homemade absinthe alcohol, without fully understanding the need to limit certain ingredients in the right quantity, in order to keep the gin-like alcohol neutral. .

Absinthe the liquor is mainly botanical, but the ingredient wormwood contains a toxic substance called “thujone.” When ingested in high doses, “thujone” causes hallucinations, leading to convulsions, and if unabated as in excessive intakes of absinthe alcohol, leads to death. Actually, the main reason why absinthe was declared illegal in 1905, was because of the toxicity of thujone.

Although The Prohibition Act was nullified in 1933, the separate prohibition of absinthe alcoholic beverages remained, whether home-distilled or commercially manufactured.

Lifting of the Absinthe Prohibition in 2007

The legalization of absinthe came after science experts took to studying the composition of the commercially produced liquor. Their studies provided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and lawmakers bases in arriving at a decision to lift the ban on the sale and consumption of absinthe.

The most prominent scientist and researcher who became instrumental in debunking the misconceptions about absinthe was Ted A. Breaux, who studied the liquor for several decades. Breaux pointed out that “thujone” is present in many food items and is toxic and harmful only when large doses have been ingested due to excessive consumption.

The thujone in absinthe liquor if properly infused and distilled, is reduced to around 10 parts per million or even less. If an absinthe liquor has less than that amount of thujone, the alcoholic drink can be labeled as thujone-free and therefore very much legal.

Other researchers who supported Breaux’s study reported that many of the cases of irrational behaviors and deaths related to absinthe consumption, were mainly caused by excessive intakes common to alcoholism and alcohol dependence.

French Laws on Stolen Art Assets : The Laws Favor Buyers in Good Faith

In France, it is always wise for art studio owners to insure their art collection, including artworks still in progress. Insurance is important not only in case of calamitous events like fire or flooding but also in case of robbery.

Under French laws, works of art, collectibles or antiques stolen from an art studio or gallery and later found to be in the possession of a buyer in good faith, will side that buyer. The owner of the studio who purports that the object in question was stolen, cannot just repossess it.

Article 2274 of the French Civil Code states that good faith is always presumed on the part of the possessor, even if someone later claims they have been stolen from his or her art studio or gallery. The burden of proof to show otherwise lies on the art studio or gallery owner who claims to have been a victim of theft or robbery.

Still, the original owner of a stolen art piece must claim ownership and show proof of bad faith within three years as prescribed by the statute of limitations, which is shorter than the standard limitation period of 5 years.

Moreover, French laws further state in Article 2276 of the Civil Code that as far as movable goods are concerned, possession is equal to title.

In case the possessor in good faith purchased the artwork at an auction, or from a professional art dealer or broker, or in an art fair, Article 2277 of the French Civil Code states that the art studio owner or anyone claiming to be the original owner of the stolen object of art, can claim restitution.

However, he or she can only receive reimbursement for the price paid for by the purchaser or the latest owner, and not the stolen artwork itself.

The Basics of an Insurance Policy for an Art Studio Business

Business plan writers for artists who run their own art studio or gallery, always make it a point to include insurance coverage for the artist’s art collection.

Not a few artists, including those renting a space for their art studio, tend to presume that insurance policies for homeownership or rented properties cover the art pieces exhibited or stored in their studio or gallery.

Although some articles located within a property are insured, such policies strictly cover only assets not related to a business.

This denotes therefore that since artists are likely to sell their creations, they should also make arrangements with their insurance provider for a separate coverage for their art collection.

The Plight of Chinchillas: An Excellent Subject for New Wave Artists

New Wave artists are known to select subjects that will give deeper meaning to their artwork. This article briefly explores the qualities and circumstance of chinchillas, and why they could be of particular interest as inspiration for new wave art.

Chinchillas as Pets

 Chinchillas are well-liked by animal lovers because of their gentle and playful nature. Although basically not the cuddly type, when compared to dogs and cats, they tame easily and eventually develop a close bond with their owners. They are also known to be kind to one another, which they demonstrate by helping other chinchillas care for their babies; including producing additional milk, and even babysitting.

Covered by dense velvety-soft fur, this very quality led to the extinction of one of 3 chinchilla species and the endangerment of the remaining two. Their fur has been popular as a trading commodity, as far back as the 16th century. After all, its namesake and original traders, the Chincha of Andes wore their fur as effective protective clothing. However, the magnitude by which Chinchilla fur trade took place through centuries, led to severe global population loss. In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed both the long and short-tailed species, in their IUCN Red List of Endangered species.

Nonetheless, it is legal to keep them as pets, but only if a procurer is well aware of their needs and have adequate experience in caring and raising the gentle creatures. Since they are quite active, they must be kept in cages where they have room for mobility. Chinchilla cage dealers offer a wide selection of the best chinchilla cages that meet chinchilla habits and activities. The cages must be placed away from direct sunlight as well as draft. They are best kept in areas with carefully controlled temperature ranging from 16 to 21 °Celsius.

Widespread Calls to End Chinchilla Fur Trade

In order to sustain the demand for chinchilla fur trade, chinchillas are being raised in farms located in different parts of the globe.

A single coat made from chinchilla fur requires killing more than 200 of the hapless animals kept in farms. It is quite unfortunate that many who proudly put on their chinchilla cloaks and scarves are not aware that they are also responsible for millions of chinchillas being put out by cruel methods, e.g. electrocution, strangling.

Thankfully, concerned citizens in different parts of Europe banded together; calling on their respective government to impose laws that will put an end to the cruelty inflicted on these God-given animals. In the UK, Norway, Germany, and Serbia, the organized movements led to legislative acts that banned international fur trade, particularly that of chinchillas.

In 2016, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released an investigative report to expose the horrible methods used by a US chinchilla farm in killing the animals. The report included a video taken during an undercover investigation, showing a farmer strangling a chinchilla.