Suzanne Willis sent me this e-mail. She was responding to something she read in the Dallas Morning News.
If, as Mr. Schram says, drug violence is due to Americans’ appetite for drugs, drug violence would have begun when Americans began using drugs. It didn’t.===
Americans have used cocaine, morphine and marijuana since the first Europeans arrived on the continent. For most of our country’s history, distribution and use were quite peaceful.
In 1900 any man, woman or child could walk into a drug store and buy all of these drugs. Bayer Heroin cost the same as Bayer Aspirin. There are no records of “drug crimes” until after 1914 when the Harrison Narcotics Act, one of the first major laws restricting drug distribution, was passed.
The Harrison Narcotics Act was championed by the Temperance Movement and vigorously opposed by the medical community. Law enforcement was silent. Drug distribution had never been a law enforcement issue.
On May 15, 1915 , an editorial in the New York Medical Journal declared:“The really serious results of this legislation…will only appear gradually.… These will be the failures of promising careers, the disrupting of happy families, the commission of crimes…and the influx into hospitals for the mentally disordered of many who would otherwise live socially competent lives.”
I don't think cocaine and morphine came into existence until extracting them from plant material was possible. Morphine in 1803. Cocaine in 1855. But still, the general principle is right. And what do you know? Even in 1915 it was recognized that such plant extracts could help with mental disorders. Something I have only been saying for about 7 or 8 years. Boy, am I ever behind the times. Of course those were simpler times. People thought that they had a right to choose their own medicines. Now a days the medical cartel has taken away most personal choice in the matter. Fur da grater god do val.
Cross Posted at Classical Values