The Prohibition of Illegal Narcotics 1915
Francis Burton Harrison (1873–1957)
Morphine (an opium derivative and relative of heroin) was discovered to have pain-killing qualities during the Civil War and quickly became the major component in numerous patent medications.
Marijuana and cocaine were used to cure migraines, rheumatism, and sleeplessness in the late 1800s, while cocaine was used to treat sinusitis, hay fever, and chronic exhaustion in the late 1800s. All of these narcotics were also used recreationally, with cocaine being a regular ingredient in wines and soda pop, notably the well-known Coca-Cola.
When a temperance wave swept the country at the beginning of the century, numerous narcotics were rendered illegal. The Harrison Act, which outlawed opiates and cocaine, was approved by Congress in 1914. Alcohol prohibition followed soon, and the United States was declared a “dry” nation by 1918.
That did not, however, mean that drug usage had come to a stop. It meant that people were arrested and imprisoned for doing things they had done before without government intervention. Prohibition also resulted in the establishment of a black market, which was run by criminals and characterized by violence.
The Repeal of Prohibition (1933);
Legalization of Marijuana (1996).
The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)