Joe Miller was a dear personal friend. He called, two weeks ago, to let me know that his company, Great Lakes Products, had been raided by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and that he loved me. He sounded emotionally distraught at the time. His suicide was obviously a response to the CPSC raid.
I have read every single CREDIBLE journal article on alkyl nitrite compounds (i.e., open chain nitrite compounds, the type of poppers that are illegal). They are among the safest compounds known to man. Joe knew that and it is why he had no ethical qualms about engaging in that business. It is also why his company, Great Lakes Products, was LICENSED BY THE US GOVERNMENT TO MANUFACTURE AND EXPORT THESE PRODUCTS. The US Government knows that poppers are safe and that’s why they allow them to be manufactured for export.
The ban on poppers, as it exists in the US, was enacted as a knee jerk response during the early days of the AIDS epidemic when some misguided junk scientists thought there was a causal relationship between their use and HIV transmission. The same could have been said about water because all gay men at the time were consuming both substances liberally . The law that banned poppers went through Congress unnoticed as part of a big, unrelated omnibus bill and has never been revoked, despite the fact that there is no valid scientific evidence to support that poppers are in any way harmful.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is indirectly responsible for Joe Miller’s untimely death. They relentlessly pursued him like pit bulls throughout the decades and finally raided his factory, causing him great emotional distress. They are trying to keep this quiet and are the reason why the details of Joe’s suicide were pulled from the papers. Big brother screwed up again and, as a result, one of our dearest and most philanthropic brothers is gone.
The raid on Great Lakes Products was part of a giant, misguided, coordinated, nationwide effort by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to remove poppers from the marketplace. Every business in the US that sold poppers on the internet has been sent a cease and desist order by the CPSC. You won’t see poppers on the web sites where they were staples before. You would think that the CPSC would have something better to do (like perhaps protecting our children from faulty toys, which is more aligned with their charter) than to spend millions of our tax dollars ridding the marketplace of substances that have been proven to be harmless. The irony is that the cyclic nitrite compounds that were manufactured to skirt the law, and are now legal, are actually harmful to humans because they remain in the body and are known carcinogens. You would think that the CPSC, operating with full awareness of these facts, would lobby to have straight line nirties made legal and cyclic nitrites made illegal. Does the CPSC care about the health of the US populace, which is ostensibly why they are here in the first place? No. Their sole concern is looking good, and they do so by intentionally and misguidedly focusing their efforts on an illegal product that they know to be safe. How sad is that? The same ego-driven and rewards-driven behavior that drove the CPSC to enforce the ban on known safe products is what led them to cover up Joe’s suicide. I know better!!!