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I wasn't afraid to ask...
OK, I've been doing my homework and it seems there are a ton of myths about this stuff.

First... construction.

I found it interesting that the alcohol in Absinthe is not distilled form the ingredients that make it up. The process is to add wormwood (or more properly known as Artemisia absinthium) to an empty still. Then green anise and fennel is added. Finally, clear pure alcohol is added. After mixing, this is left to step for around 24 hours. Then the alcohol is redistilled from the mixture. The result is absinthe. This is the same process used as many flavored liqueurs.

Absinthe Kills

In the late 19th century, France had a plague or virus spread and virtually destroyed the entire grape crop. With no wine being produced, the Absinthe makers pushed their juice and it soon became the most popular drink. Even here in the US for a while. There were some rare cases of people getting ill from impurities as demand far exceeded production so many low-end makers made the stuff with improper stills. The naturally coloring masked the impurities and several large batches were shipped with copper sulfate in the liqueur. As the French wine industry recovered from their catastrophe they found sales were way down. They saw the popularity of Absinthe as their main problem so they financed a major campaign pointing out the few deaths caused by the cheap absinthe. In fact, no more people died form Absinthe than form any other distilled spirits as it was not uncommon for some distillers to use dirty and cheap stills.

The campaign won and little by little absinthe was being outlawed in many countries including the US by 1915.

The fact is the standards by which the better makers of Absinthe adhered to way back in the beginning meets or exceeds all US and other countries standards. But the damage was done and by this time Wine was regaining it's popularity along with Whisky , Port and Brandy.

Absinthe is a hallucinogenic

Nope. Not at all. While consuming the "mash" in the still may cause you some issues, the spirits that come from the still contains nothing at all that can cause any affects other than getting drunk. Real drunk as this stuff is well over 50% alcohol.
This is interesting.  I've always wondered about its hallucinogenic properties.
Yea the hallucinogenic/wormwood part is wayyy over hyped. 
I sure was pretty drunk, but then I was also smokeing a little something else..  Wink
There are almost as many fake types of Absinthe as Cuban cigars. I've seen prices of $200-$300 a bottle.
I was watching a show about liquers and liqours on the history channel a while back i believe it was Modern marvels... They said the Absinth was illegal in the US.. but it is available in Canada.. i have seen it at the LCBO.. I have been temped but there a special way to serve it and its allways put me off.. To much work...

If you get the original absinth and you get it served in the correct fashion its supposed to be a very enjoyable drink.. But thats what i have heard..

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