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January 20, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(3):176. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460030050011

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The U. S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue has aided the temperance cause, it is hoped, by a recent decision. He decides that the prescription of any alcoholic liquors, uncompounded with a drug or remedy, subjects the prescriber to the special internal revenue tax as a retail liquor dealer. There are physicians whose principles or good nature have permitted them to help the thirsty to gratify their desires when the legalized public facilities are wanting. A physician in West Virginia, kept a drug store and dispensed liquors on his own prescriptions. His appeal to the revenue department from the local collector produced the decision above mentioned, and referred to in our "Medical News" columns, the 13th. The only effect of this decision will be to stop the prescribing of "straight" drinks, diluted or otherwise. It can be often enough evaded by the addition of some medicinal agent under the pretense of

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