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    Winnipeg doctors cashed in on booze prescriptions

    At least some doctors made a good thing of prohibition. You could quench your thirst if you could get a doctor’s prescription for liquor for medicinal purposes. In Manitoba, some doctors were selling liquor prescriptions by the caseload, according to this report in the Montreal Star, November 27, 1920.

    Winnipeg—(Special Star Correspondence). — Manitoba physicians are being divided into “irreproachables,” sheep, and goats, by the Provincial Medical Association Executive Committee, and according to the group in which a doctor finds himself, so shall be his reward or punishment. For the “irreproachables” there will be praise, for the sheep neither praise nor blame, and for the goats or black sheep, revocation of licence as a medical practitioner.

    The basis of division is upon the amount of prescriptions for liquor being issued. The drastic action is contemplated for those doctors who have been so free with their liquor permits as to besmudge the fair name of Manitoba medicos. The association solicitor is collecting evidence, which will make or break individual members.

    That some of the doctors have been regarding the dry laws as a “good thing” has been no secret. The way of the young graduate from the local medical college was hard in the days before prohibition. He would look forward to several years of patient, but patientless, toil before he worked up some sort of clientage. He was certain of a trying period of probation until he established his reputation. But today every graduate has his automobile, his up-town office, and his clientage within a few months…

    At the annual meeting of the Provincial Medical Association, at Winnipeg last week, members heard without surprise that some doctors were issuing three and four thousand liquor prescriptions every month. An inspector of the Temperance Administration declared that he knew several who contracted with druggists and bootleggers to furnish batches of several hundred prescriptions at a time at cut-rate prices, while it was the common practice for doctors to prescribe liquor without even pretending to examine their “patients.”


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    TAGS: Prohibition, Physicians, Bootleggers, Malfeasance, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Manitoba Medical Association

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