Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Drug History Timeline Pt 3 (Patent Medicine Era)


Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, most opium laws were aimed specifically at the chinese, and limited to the drug forms and routes of administration associated with the immigrants; the opiate patent medicines and non-smoking routes employed by the white community went largely unaffected. (up to the early 1900's)

As morphine dependence with intravenous use becomes common, an anti morphine campaign is launched and distributes free samples of heroin to morphine addicts as a non addictive substitute. (1900s)

Heroin dependence becomes prevalent and causes concern among physicians, white christians, & congress. (1900's)

Cocaine use is rampant, and racial tensions are high (1900-1914): During the first decade or more of the 1900's, cocaine had began building a reputation. Its use was particularly popular with the negroes of the south. Cocaine was rumoured to "make all men feel worthy". One man had said, "It makes working men feel like millionaires, which they're not!". This was alarming to many people in the South, who felt threatened by the prospect of their negroes copping drug induced egos and forgetting their inferior status. Some states pass their own cocaine laws, however, there was some initial resistance encountered to federal laws, particularly on States Rights grounds (the states rights doctrine was an issue of particular national attention at this time), sensational stories appeared in the press featuring cocaine crazed negroes raping white women; this was sufficient to sway any resistance.

After tireless campaigning against opium smoking, US Congress passes federal law banning opium smoking. (1905)

The Pure Food & Drug Act requires labeling of the narcotics and dosages present in patent medicines. (1906)

US government bans importation of opium. (1909)

Under the guidance of Episcopal Bishop Brent, Dr. White, and President Roosevelt, the US organizes an International Opium Commission in Shang Hai, unofficially urging governments to control opiate use. The US is set to convince other nations that the non medical use of opium is immoral and evil, meriting its worldwide criminalization. (1909)


Pre-International Opium Convention at Shanghai. Among the attendees were most of the Nations involved in far east trade. The US and other nations were eager at this time to break Britain's monopoly of trade with China, by promoting regulations on international opium trade. Nothing is agreed upon at this convention, and a larger convention is scheduled to take place in the next few years; where major global powers will discuss the opium trade.

International Opium Convention finally meets at the Hague, and this time rather than informal resolutions, a Treaty is officially signed by 13 nations, who agree to establish their own domestic controls on opium & opiates. (1912)

Next Section Here (Transition, Taxation, Prohibition Era)

No comments:

Post a Comment