History of Drugs (based on Szaz, Ceremonial Chemistry and others)

Timeline created by Graham.Gerritsen
  • First American Temperance Society

    Association of farmers in Connecticut ban whiskey; prompted by Benjamin Rush's 1784-85 book Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Body and Mind.
  • Opium Banned in China

  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Farmers in PA protesting a 1791 increase in tax on liquor was put down by Washington's use of Army.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Kubla Khan

    Written under the influence of Opium
  • Federal Duty on Liquor abolished by Jefferson

  • Morphine isolated in Germany

  • American Temperance Society is founded

  • Medical use of Hashish in France

  • Discovery of Cocaine

    Technically the drug is "isolated."
  • AMA is founded

  • Woman's State Temperance Society of New York founded by Susan B. Anthony

  • Internal Revenue Act passed

    Federal taxes on alcohol
  • Barbituric Acid created (first Barbiturate)

  • Formation of Prohibition Party

    Gerrit Smith: "Our involuntary slaves are set free, but our millions of voluntary slaves still clang their chains. The lot of the literal slave ... is indeed a hard one; nevertheless it is a paradise compared with the lot of him who enslaves himself--especially of him who has enslaved himself to alcohol.
  • Women's Christian Temperance Movement founded

  • San Francisco bans smoking of Opium

  • New York bans opium

  • U.S. requires "temperance education" in D.C. and military schools

    By 1900 all states have similar laws.
  • Personal Liberty League formed

    Oppose growing temperance movement
  • Freud treats his depression with Cocaine; reports positive effects

  • Report of the Royal Commission on Opium compares it to "West's Alcohol"

  • Report on Hemp in India rejects need for taxation/regulation

    Finds Hemp comparable to Whiskey; rejects taxation in part because of Muslim Law and Hindu custom that forbids "taxing anything that gives pleasure to the poor."
  • Heroin synthesized (in Germany)

    Supposed to be safe and "free from addiction-forming properties"
  • Ecumenical Missionary Conference address

    Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts advocates "the policy of prohibition for native races, in the interest of commerce as well as conscience, since the liquor traffic among child races, even more manifestly than in civilized lands, injures all other trades by producing poverty, disease, and death."
  • Senate resolution to forbid sale of opium and alcohol to uncivilized races

  • Coca-Cola replaces cocaine with caffeine

  • Pure Food & Drug Act passed

  • U.S. bans importation of smoking opium

  • Hamilton Wright: Industrialists supply cocaine to negro workers

  • New York enacts first DUI law (other states soon follow)

  • First international Opium Convention meets at The Hague

    Further conventions in 1913 and 1914
  • Harrison Narcotic Act is enacted (controlling opium sale)

  • Black leaders support prohibition

  • Rep. Hobson (Ala) supports prohibition amendment

    "Liquor will actually make a brute out of a negro, causing him to commit unnatural crimes. The effect is the same on the white man, though the white man being further evolved it takes longer time to reduce him to the same level."
  • AMA endorses Prohibition

  • AMA declares "sexual continence" healthy, suggests controlling alcohol

  • USDA pamphlet urges Cannabis growth

  • Thomas Blair advocates prohibition of Peyote by Native Americans

    Paper in Journal of the American Medical Association refers to peyote use as a "superstition" and growers as "dope vendors." Blair blames difficulty of prohibition on "entrenched commercial interests" and "superstitions" of the "exploited" Indian. Concludes: "Suppose the negroes of the South had a Cocaine Church!"
  • 15,000 physicians and 57,000 druggists apply for licenses to prescribe and sell liquor

  • Alfred C. Prentice, M.D. declares public opinion on addiction "corrupted through propaganda"

  • Jones Miller Act bans importation of opium for non-medical use

  • Manufacture of Heroin Prohibited

  • Robert A. Schless blames Harrison Act for most drug addiction (via underground drug peddlers pushing opiates)

  • Physicians make $40,000,000 annually prescribing whiskey

  • Radio Broadcast: "The Struggle of Mankind Against Its Deadliest Foe"

  • Federal Bureau of Narcotics formed

  • 45,000 jail sentences/year for alchol offenses

  • Marijuana Tax Act enacted

  • Food Drug & Cosmetic Act

    Before a drug was marketed; it's manufacturer must test it for toxicity; drug application and process needed for new drug (NDA=new drug application), law recognizes "over the counter" drugs and prescription drugs ( FDAreview.org, glossary, pg1, retrieved 9/27/09 from site listed in source)
  • Albert Hofmann synthesizes LSD

  • Chiang Kai-Shek imposes death penalty for poppy cultivation or sale in China

  • Opium Poppy Control Act prohibits the possession or growing of the opium poppy without a license.

  • Hofmann accidentally absorbs LSD

    Hofmann describes it as being "affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."
  • U.N. estimates 200 Million marijuana users (primarily in India, Egypt, N. Africa, Mexico, USA)

  • Boggs Amendment (harsher criminal penalties for narcotics violations)

  • Narcotic Drug Control Act (allows death penalty for sale of opium by 18 yr old to 17 yr old)

  • UN "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs" ratified

  • Durham-Humphrey Amendment requires habit-forming drugs to dispensed by prescription only

  • Kefauver Harris Amendment

    Required drug manufacturers to provide proof of the effectiveness and safety of their drugs before approval & required drug advertising to disclose accurate information about side effects, and stopped cheap generic drugs being marketed as expensive drugs under new trade names as new "breakthrough" medications.
  • Robinson v. California

    Douglas: "If addicts can be punished for their addiction, then the insane can also be punished for their insanity. Each has a disease and each must be treated as a sick person."
  • Robert M. Lipsyte authors sensationalistic New York Times article on U.S. "war on drug traffic"

    Robert M. Lipsyte, To Wage the Continuing War on the Drug Traffic, Men of the Police Narcotics Bureau Go Where the Dope and its Users Are—Deep in the Nether Reaches of the City’s Life, The New York Times, October 14, 1962 reprinted in DRUGS, 59 (James F. Fixx, Gen. Ed., Arno Press, 1971)
  • USDA subsidies to Tobacco result in $8b of sales including $3b in taxes

    Tobacco sales total $8.08 billion, of which $3.3 billion go to federal, state, and local taxes. A news release from the tobacco industry proudly states: "Tobacco products pass across sales counters more frequently than anything else--except money." [Tobacco: After publicity surge Surgeon General's Report seems to have little enduring effect, *Science*, 145:1021-1022 (Sept.4), 1964; p.1021]
  • NYTimes Editorial points out Govt support of Tobacco industry

    1964 An editorial in *The New York Times* calls attention to the fact that "the Government continues to be the tobacco industry's biggest booster. The Department of Agriculture lost $16 million in supporting the price of tobacco in the last fiscal year, and stands to loose even more because it has just raised the subsidy that tobacco growers will get on their 1964 crop. At the same time, the Food for Peace program is getting rid of surplus stocks of tobacco abroad." [Editorial, Bigger agricultur
  • Federal Cigarette Labeling & Advertising Act

  • Drug Abuse Control Act restricts research into psychoactives like LSD

  • Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act (NARA) allows courts to compel treatment for addicts

  • NYTimes reports school wants to test students saliva to check for pot use

  • C.W. Sandman Jr. declares LSD "the greatest threat facing the country today . . . more dangerous than the Vietnam War."

    C.W. Sandman, Jr. chairman of the New Jersey Narcotic Drug Study Commission, declares that LSD is "the greatest threat facing the country today... more dangerous than the Vietnam War."
  • Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act (42 U.S.C. 3401, et. seq.)

  • NY State passes Narcotics Addiction Control Program

    New York State's "Narcotics Addiction Control Program" goes into effect. It is estimated to cost $400 million in three years, and is hailed by Government Rockefeller as the "start of an unending war..." Under the new law, judges are empowered to commit addicts for compulsory treatment for up to five years. [Murray Schumach, Plan for addicts will open today: Governor hails start, *The New York Times*, April 1, 1967]
  • Hoffer & Osmond: "strong evidence supporting use of LSD in a treatment program for alcoholism"

    Hoffer and Osmond, New Hope for Alcoholics, p. 15
  • Narcotics Treatment Administration founded (fuding methadone treatment in D.C.)

    Run by Dr. Robert DuPont. The program sparked controversy because some believed methadone was nothing more than a substitute for heroin, while other critics felt there were racial undertones behind the effort. Nevertheless, one year after the program began, burglaries in DC decreased by 41%.
  • NORML founded

  • Proposal to ban candy cigarettes in New York

    Syracuse Post Standard page 1
  • NYTimes interview w/ Nobel Laureate advises youth to fornicate and take drugs

    Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Med., in reply to being asked what he would do if he were twenty today: "I would share with my classmates rejection of the whole world as it is -- all of it. . . . Fornication -- at least that is something good. What else is there to do? Fornicate and take drugs against the terrible strain of idiots who govern the world." [Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, in *The New York Times*, Feb. 20, 1970, quoted in Mary Breastead, *Oh! Sex Education!*, p. 359.
  • Comp Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Act

  • Nixon declares drugs "Public Enemy No. 1"

  • Gallup Poll finds 2/3 of Americans believe sellers of hard drugs should be given life in prison ("not human")

  • "Drug Abuse Industrial Complex"

    Michael R. Sonnenreich, Exec. Dir., Nat'l Comm. on Marijuana and Drug Abuse: "[F]our years ago we spent a total of $66.4 million for the entire federal effort.... This year we have spent $796.3 million and ... we will exceed the $1 billion mark. When we do so, we become, for want of a better term, a drug abuse industrial complex. [Michael R. Sonnenreich, Discussion of the Final Report of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, *Villanova Law Review*, 18:817-827 (May), 1973; p.818]
  • Minn. restricts use of tobacco in the workplace

  • D.A.R.E. founded by L.A. Police

  • UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

  • Office of National Drug Control Policy created (under auth of Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988)

  • (DATE?) D.A.R.E. loses federal funding for lack of efficacy.

  • GAO report concludes that ONDCP can "disseminate misleading info" because of its statutory duty to oppose legalization

    Application of Anti-Lobbying Laws to the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Open Letter to State Level Prosecutors, B-301022, March 10, 2004
  • Combat Meth Act of 2005 - designed to deal with OTC sales of certain chemicals

  • Colorado, Oregon, & Washington vote on legalization of recreational marijuana

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    First Opium War (Britain/China)

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    New York State bans public sale of liquor

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    Second Opium War

    British (and French) resist efforts by China to restrict importation of opium from British India.
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    Liquor Tax provides 1/2 to 2/3 of entire U.S. Revenue

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    Prohibition of Alcohol

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    10% of industrial alcohol diverted to bootlegging; 40 million Americans die from alcohol poisoning annually