"Moderation In All Things."
That is the main starting point
of the solution to any addiction.
(Including sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.)

Friday, October 1, 2010


This website is featuring this special series of posts that form an outline showing the various levels of drug abuse since the beginning of recorded history.

Please note that these posts were "backwards dated" in order to offer the categories in the same order in which they were originally presented in print. So just follow the prompts to each succeeding subject listed at the bottom of each post, and ignore the dates.

As you will see by clicking on the archived post links to the left, overlapping time frames have been kept to a minimum, in order to categorize the occurrences of people becoming dependent upon different types of substances as each one was made available to the public at large.

These poisons to the human system were for centuries relegated to the secret cabinets of tribal priests, and in the civilized world to radical men of science, but much to society's regret, that status did not become permanent.

The entire text of this online project is being used free by schools as supplementary workbook material. I offer my sincere thanks to all those who have supported it.

- E.J. Gauthier, Editor.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010



Welcome to a basic overview of the history of addiction.

And now to our main subject: those sinful substances of such widespread abuse. How did they come to be, and when?

Yes, it would take an entire library to do the topic justice, but hopefully this modest treatment will at least provide a framework to start discussions and encourage further research.

As you'll discover upon reading the historical notes that follow, getting rid of today's drug problems isn't as easy as promoting simple slogans like:


We'll begin by observing that the control and application of any intoxicants, which includes beer, wine, hard liquor, heroin, opium, cannabis and even mushrooms, has rarely been handled with any degree of continuous scientific expertise or correct social decision making.

For instance, around 2700 B.C., China listed cannabis as a "cure" - not a cause - of absent mindedness. By 100 A.D., that picture changed again, but only for the worse; the Greeks regarded cannabis as more than just a treatment for various health problems - it was also being hailed as a "relaxing dessert."

Both medical and non-medical drug experimentation began to skyrocket during this period. In 130 A.D., Italy swore by opium for use by their physicians in treating patients. In 500 A.D., the Incas began chewing raw coca leaves (cocaine) in Peru during "religious ceremonies." Only two centuries later, the Arabs had started something even worse: the transportation of the knowledge and application of drugs on a multi-national scale.


The diabolical destruction (whether premeditated or not) of other societies by the Arab race is easily one of the most notorious examples (sexually-transmitted disease cases included) of the practice of "tainting by travel." Check out these highlights of their horrifying track record:

In 700 A.D., the Arabs introduce the opium poppy to China.

In 800 A.D., the Arabs introduce cannabis to Africa.

Later that same century, the Arabs also blaze the trail in providing the first examples of distillation of alcohol.

(Around this same time, China follows and improves upon this primitive process, so that by the year 1000 A.D., Italy further perfects the concept. But wait - the Arabs aren't through with us yet!)

In 900 A.D., the Arabs pioneer heart-destroying caffeine use, actually promoting "medicinal" doses of coffee (chewing the beans raw) for patients who actually require no such stimulants.

In 1000 A.D. (when Italy perfected the Arab's alcohol, remember?), the Arabs appear yet again in the records of ingestion infamy, as this time they succeed in boiling coffee beans properly so humans can take it as a hot drink, thereby consuming much more of it than they did by their previous chewing method.

As one could guess, the process catches on (especially among the population's toothless), and this strange "morning moca mix" soon becomes an addictive institution.

And the year 1000 A.D. pops up a third time, as a scholar named Biruni (ironically an Arab), produces the first written acknowledgement that there is even such a thing as an "addiction problem" regarding drugs.

This warning is never heeded, coming as it does in the middle of the new rush to be numb to reality, using either a religious or social excuse. Biruni's "spoilsport" caution, arriving as much too little and much too late, of course becomes not much more than a quaint historical footnote. From then on, the drug abuse merry-go-round is off and running.


In 1850, the PUS ("Pharmacopeia of the United States") list includes "extractum cannabis" for the first time, recommending it as a good substance for pharmacological use. It is dropped from that list a bit too late - after almost a hundred years - in 1942.

In 1872, the AFDD (Adulteration of Food, Drink and Drugs) Act is passed in England.

In 1875, the British SFD (Sale of Food and Drugs) Act amends the earlier AFDD Act and regulates the adulteration of these articles.

In 1882, the NYCE (New York Coffee Exchange) is organized.

In 1973, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs is revamped to become the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).

In 1978, the ABO (Anti-Burma Opium) Act is passed by the British.

This ABO Act prevents the selling of any opium to the country of Burma only - while still keeping the doors wide open to opium smokers (and eaters) in places including India, and, of course, China.


In 1811 nicotine is identified as the principal ingredient in tobacco by French chemist Louis Vaquelin. This ingredient is later isolated from tobacco by two French chemists in 1828.

In 1820, caffeine is isolated from coffee by German scientist Ferdinand Runge.

In 1832, codeine is isolated from opium by French chemist Robiquet.

In 1831, a source imparts knowledge of the chemical known as chloriform to France, Germany and the United States. The source is never mentioned, however, and the "discovery" (all within the very same year) is claimed by the three countries to have occurred simultaneously and independently of each other.

In 1858, cocaine is isolated from coca by scientist Albert Neiman. This accomplishment is based on much previous work by Gaedkin which began in 1844.

In 1858, American doctors Barker and Thomson innovate the process of using morphine in the form of a hypodermic injection.

In 1852, the American Pharmaceutical Association is founded, which will result in "druggists" and "drugstores" becoming household words.

In 1863, barbiturates are born in Munich, Germany when Doctor A. von Bayer synthesizes barbituric acid. The chemist is only 29 years old.

In 1874, English researcher C.R.A. Wright synthesizes heroin. However, the compound (diacetyl-morphine) at first generates little more than casual interest, until 1898, when chemist Heinrich Dresser develops heroin. At the time Dresser is working as chief pharmacologist for the German branch of the Bayer Company (the Elbefeld Farbenfabrik of Friederich Bayer and Co.).

The heroin is marketed in the United States the very same year, after being backed by an advertising campaign on an international scale. The curing of morphinism (addiction to morphine) is Bayer's major claim.

In 1886, German pharmacologist Ludwig Lewin identifies mescaline. In 1896, German scientist A. Heffter isolates mescaline, as an active alkaloid, from the peyote cactus. The same year, Weir mitchell provides the first clinical description of mescal action. Mescaline is chemically synthesized in 1926.

In 1887, the first amphetamine is prepared by Edeleano, a chemist in Germany.

In 1893, German chemist Felix Hoffman synthesizes aspirin. At the time Hoffman is working for the Bayer Company, which six years later releases it for sale on the market.

In 1923, the country of Germany is once again the site for the creation of a dangerous drug, as the opiate-narcotic Dilaudid is first produced.

In 1927, California pharmacist Gordon Alles synthesizes Benzedrine, ushering in the "amphetamine age."

In 1938, the "acid age" first rears its hellish head when LSD-25 is synthesized by Dr. Albert Hofmann, a research scientist at Sandoz Laboratories near Basil, Switzerland.

In 1943, Hofmann will also accidently inhale ergot (rye fungus) which will send him on the first documented "acid trip." His (non-fatal) psychedelic experience results in the earliest scientific observation of LSD's hallucinogenic properties.

Hofmann's work in the field of ergotism harkens back to outbreaks of human contact with rye fungus which has killed over 50,000 people since the first incidents involving the substance in 944 A.D.

In 1959, Hofmann once again grabs drug development headlines, for the third successive decade; this time its due to his isolation of psilocybin, the active ingredient in a hallucinogenic mushroom, at the Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland.

In 1941, methadone is first synthesized by I.G. Farben researchers in Germany. It will be used as a substitute for heroin, after first changing its original title of "dolphine," named after Adolph Hitler. In 1948 it is officially introduced on the market to aid in the detoxification of heroin addicts.

In 1964, Israeli scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulame isolates the primary active ingredient in cannabis, called THC (delta-l-tetrahydrocannabinol).

In 1967, PCP (phencylcidine), an ingredient in street drugs (angel dust), is made available legally. Released as an animal tranquilizer, on humans it has an anesthetic-psychedelic effect.

Parents lecture their kids to stay away from such chemical companions, but what are many of these same parents already hooked on themselves, even as they speak? Diet pills, smokes, and, for strictly "social" party purposes, of course... alcohol.


Sunday, August 1, 2010



Alcohol, by 900 A.D., was making its move from out of the religious arena into the political one. The old trick of getting your enemies drunk and then killing them was a much newer one then, and even the King of England (literally) fell for it.

This assassination by ale occurred in 946 A.D., after Edward the Elder was invited to a feast along with his friends in Gloucestershire.

The king and his company got drunk and could not defend themselves against their political enemies, and were murdered on the spot, thus affecting the entire future of British history.

By 1100, Italy had developed brandy from wine, giving political opponents even more to choose from.

During the 1200s, the process of alcohol distillation is translated by scientist Albert Magnus from technical to layman's terms, making large scale manufacture possible. As could be guessed, after this "recipe for the world" example, things really take off and there is no turning back.

We can see, then, that by the first millennium, human beings on this planet were already caught by the new vice of drugs and alcohol. They could squirm, but they were hooked.

The Magna Carta is signed in England in 1215. This important document includes a section that condones and encourages alcoholism by a clause that refers to what the proper size of beer-handles should be.

The forerunner of Budweiser beer gets its evil start in 1256: In Bohemia, the massive breweries at Budweiser are started up, and function under the direction of one man - not a radical scientist or priest - it is instead Ottokar II, the King of Bohemia himself.

In 1496, the government of England caves in and officially allows widespread use of alcohol, stipulating only that justices of the peace will have the authority to determine where alcoholic drinks could be sold. This marks the first British "licensing law," giving license, then, to the many forms of "demon rum," with minimum control.

Not to be outdone, the Scottish produce their first whiskey in 1500. Five years later, its production is placed under the jurisdiction of the Royal College of Surgeons; presumably, a college medical student in Scotland is at least as trustworthy as a justice of the peace in England.

Speaking of England again, it is not until 1606 that its government takes the bold step of declaring public intoxication to be a criminal offense (Luckily, Edward the Elder was already dead for 600 years, or they'd have to throw their own king in jail).


No wonder New Yorkers are historically such pains in the neck - their best town is named after a bunch of mean drunks. In 1609 explorer Henry Hudson (of Canada's Hudson's Bay fame) met a group of Delaware indians who were fishing on an island.

He lost no time in introducing them to gin, the future white man's firewater of choice. The island was subsequently named Manahachtanienk, which means, "place where we got drunk."

The island's name was later shortened to Manhattan, in New York City, where you can still do a bit of fishing - if the locals aren't already snapping at you.


In 1607, just one year after Britain finally outlawed public drunkenness, New World soil received its first distilled alcohol in the colony of Virginia.

Still destined to remain a British colony for another 170 years, in 1609 Virginia was already working on a revolution in brewing, as they advertised for workers in England who might like to lend their (600 year) expertise to the fledgling colony.

However, it was the colony of Massachusetts that beat Virginia to the dubious honor of having the first fully functioning brewery in the colonies, when one was built under the guidance of Captain Sedgewick in 1637.

Less than 350 years later, Massachusetts would be the site of the most famous beer-swillers in entertainment history on a TV show named after a popular British drinking expression: "Cheers."

England throws the bar doors wide open in 1688 by decreeing that anyone, after first paying a small tax for the privilege, may practice alcohol distillation. To complete the cycle, England further allows in 1830 that, with a small tax paid, the sale of beer by anyone can proceed without any license from a justice of the peace.

In France, the Benedictine monks are already known for their successful experiments with grape fermentation for wine, when in 1679 one of the monks develops yet another twist - a slightly less harmful mixture they name "champagne."

The monk's name? Dom Perignon. No word as to whether or not he got a kick from it, or if it tickled his nose.

In 1758, a 26 year old candidate, while trying to get himself elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, distributes 75 gallons of rum to the voters of his district. The candidate wins without difficulty and in later years will go on to become President of the United States. The bribing young lad is George Washington.

Rabid constitutionalists studying "dry" rulings related to it (and we don't mean the prohibition amendment of the 1920s) take note - there should be no use of distilled alcohol in the United States today, because America's forefathers also banned it.

The First Continental Congress declared the following in 1774:

"Resolved: that it be recommended to the various legislatures immediately to pass laws, the more effectually to put a stop to the pernicious practice of distilling."

Apparently, however, the "various legislatures" who would have carried this out were gotten to by the emerging liquor lobbies that have haunted us even since.

In 1860, modern day scotch whiskey is created in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is carried out by Andrew Usher who blends two "rugged whiskeys."

In 1864, great man of medicine Louis Pasteur helps give birth to millions of future alcoholics by applying his pasteurization process in the wrong area.

After finding that the souring of European wine was due to a parasitic growth (phylloxera), he determines that the growth could be eliminated by treating it for a few minutes at 50 to 60 degrees centigrade.

Before Pasteur steps in, the entire European wine industry is being declared dead. This is one "patient" the good doctor should have lost.

In 1914, an organization in Sweden takes over the monopoly on all distribution and sales of alcoholic beverages; the organization is the government of Sweden itself.

In 1920, Frenchman Henri Murger's "Bohemian" movement of the 1840s grows a new crop of converts in the U.S. The "roaring" '20s become the "smoking and drinking" '20s, as the permissiveness of the time regarding cigarette and alcohol use is especially reflected.

This occurs mainly in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. The "20th century Bohemians" are forced to taper off a bit from the abuse of these substances in 1930, shortly after the stock market crash, when funding for users and dealers alike is drastically curtailed.

In 1925, the notorious image of alcoholic Russians is created by their own post-war government. Vodka, which had been banned by the Czar up until the time World War I started, is now forcefully re-introduced by the new Russian regime, which (like Sweden just a decade earlier) runs it as a state-owned monopoly.


In 1929, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre occurs, as seven men are machine-gunned to death by gangsters. In the future, the reason for the victims being there in the first place is often glossed over:

They are black marketeers waiting for a Prohibition-era shipment of "illegal" alcohol to sell (after watering it down) to a high-paying public.

In 1930, Charles "Lucky" Luciano solidifies the black market of alcohol and drugs, as he organizes a nationwide crime cartel. With this one major move, the main groundwork is now laid for the future of all illegal drug trade.

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signs into law the 21st amendment to the constitution, which thereby repeals the 18th amendment.

This move, however, is too late for the public good; Luciano's crime cartel is so powerful by now that former Prohibition-era concerns simply move into and take over the new "legitimate" alcohol business, bringing with them their trademark practice of shoddy quality and over-inflated prices.

Go To TOBACCO: Part 1

Thursday, July 1, 2010



Explorer Marco Polo, in 1275, describes the first use of cannabis in the Moslem world. In 1453, another explorer, not content with such mere reportage, leads the Portuguese government into the international drug trade as Constantinople falls.

Yet another famous explorer, Christopher Columbus, the noted murderer of native Americans, expounds upon his "discovery" of tobacco when he is introduced to the deadly carcenigenic leaves by the natives of San Salvador in late 1492.

The following year Columbus and his scurvy crew rush to introduce the cancer-causer to all of Europe. What he doesn't slaughter by sword, he does so with smoke. The next year, 1496, Columbus is at it again, this time extolling the uses of a hallucinogenic snuff called "cohaba" by the natives on his second voyage.

In 1499 explorer Americo Vespucci visits an island near Venezuala and advertises the natives' use of nicotine intake by chewing tobacco instead of just smoking it. We have reports like this to thank for future mouth cancer cases in professional sports and elsewhere.

Another mass-murderer like Columbus, explorer Cortez was also strangely hailed as a hero instead. In 1518, this Spanish "conquerer" (slaughterer) of the native people of Mexico, orders the making of wine to become an industry. The following year, Cortez and his thugs observe the ceremonial Aztec smoking practice, and brings back more tobacco leaves to Europe, adding to the collection brought back by Columbus 25 years earlier.

In 1535 Jacques Cartier files a report about native North American indians smoking during his journey along the St. Lawrence river. He is quoted as saying that although it had a pepper-like taste to the white men when they first tried it, the indians say "the habit is most wholesome."

Two years later, tobacco is sanctioned to be used medicinally throughout Europe. Soonafter, in 1542, the Portuguese introduce tobacco into Japan, a country where up until then cancer was virtually unheard of.

While not exactly a noted explorer, the often-travelling French ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot, becomes another fan of native tobacco use, to which the Portuguese are already addicted. He brings this poinsonous material back with him to the royal court as a "gift," and instead of being punished Nicot is rewarded by having the substance contained in the killer plant named after him: hence the name "nicotine."

British explorer Sir John Hawkins, in 1565, brings back his tobacco samples from the natives he met during his travels, and introduces the plant to England.

It takes awhile to catch on, but eight years later, the practice of smoking becomes popular when the dashing Sir Francis Drake brings his tobacco goods to England, and begins planting it for the first time on European soil.

In 1586, the first large commercial farming of tobacco in England is undertaken. Where in England? Why, Gloucestershire, of course; Edward the Elder (see Alcohol section) would have appreciated that irony, if he'd been sober.


One can see that by the early 1500s, the deadly pattern had been set up: one or two explorers have bartered to get ceremonial tobacco from a few tribes; then they've brought it back to promote it for widespread use instead (sadly, this scenario was not limited only to tobacco).

Huge populations of the white man became addicted and demanded more of the substance from the indians, thus starting up an entire poison-producing industry. This lead to many more explorers, many more exploited indian tribes, and so on. The final touch was fueled by the need to bypass international problems; countries began in earnest in the early 1600s to grow their own tobacco plant crops.

And where is the famous Sir Walter Raleigh during this puffing frenzy? In 1587, he is recorded as taking tobacco to Ireland, which wags may say is what stunted the Leprachauns' growth. He is, however, wrongly titled as the first tobacco promoter, when actually Drake was the culprit. Raleigh did, however, jump on the bandwagon once the initial fad had already begun and claim as much noteriety as possible, as have many other false celebrities down through the ages.

For this reason, he joins the ranks of other overly publicized, non-discoverers in history, such as Columbus (the United States), Doubleday (the game of baseball), and Marconi (the radio). The men who are documented as actually deserving the true credit for those things were, respectively, the Viking explorer known as Erik the Red (Norway), Alexander Cartwright (Britain), and Nicola Tesla (Yugoslavia).

During the l600s, tobacco spreads quickly into many other countries, including Italy, Turkey, Poland and India. The "fad" is becoming an institution, with no end in sight.

In 1610, England establishes an official "tobacco colony" on behalf of the crown in Virginia.

London, England is the site for the formation of the Company of Distillers when they incorporate in 1638.

In 1642, due to a reported "scarcity of coins," the notorious colony of Virginia begins acting like the prisoners (to substance abuse) they are: a statute is declared that allows for the use of tobacco as money.


In 1605, tobacco is introduced by Europe to India. Although the court physician correctly advises India's King against the substance, the monarch fatally decides to take the Europeans' assurances of safety instead, because, as he said, "Europeans wouldn't do anything foolish," which shows how much India's royalty knew about Europeans: zero.

1674 is the year France enters the drug picture, tobacco-wise, in a big way. They bypass any free enterprise whatsoever in this area by declaring all cultivation and sale of tobacco to be under a state monopoly.

In 1832 an Eqyptian cannoneer (at the siege of the Turkish city of Acre) provides the first reported example of smoking a rolled paper cigarette.

In 1843 the French government expands its local tobacco monopoly to include the international cigarette industry. This popularization elevates the lowly cigarette from its previous status of being (as it was called in Spain) a mere "begger's smoke."


For a brief period in the 1700s snuff is in vogue. In 1724 tobacco user pope Benedict XIII revokes all rules against smoking and allows snuff taking in St. Peters Basilica.

In 1761, England's Queen Charlotte finds that her personal tobacco addiction earns her the nickname of "Snuffy Charlotte" - "they" were not amused, as the royal expression goes.

A young general during the American revolution popularizes this phrase in 1776: "If you can't send money, send tobacco." Yes, it's George Washington again.

In 1854, cigarettes are introduced into the United States.

In 1856, Robert Gloag becomes Britain's first cigarette manufacturer.

Meanwhile, at nicotine central (aka Virginia, USA), the loose-leaf tobacco auction market is established in 1858 by Thomas Neal and others in Danville.

In 1860, a man wins a bet by smoking 100 regular-sized cigars in 12 hours. It remains undetermined whether or not the man may have been George Burns or Groucho Marx.

Go To TOBACCO: Part 2

Tuesday, June 1, 2010



In 1890, tobacco baron James Duke achieves a "tobacco trust" by organizing the American Tobacco Company. By this move, Duke now controls approximately 85% of the cigarette output in the United States.

In 1900, criminals representing nicotine-run financial concerns turn to physical force in order to addict people for profit. "Black Patch" gangs roam areas in Tennessee and Western Kentucky, calling themselves "protective associations," as they "persuade" non-tobacco planting farmers to plant their poison instead.

Black Patch night riders engage in property damage that includes barn burning and crop destruction; even a few murders are considered to be all a part of this fearful violence.


In 1880, American James Bonsack develops the first practical machine for rolling cigarettes. It results in a revolution for the industry, which had previously forced women and children into deplorable working conditions (long before unions and child labor laws) while hand-rolling cigarettes.

Three years of testing later, the machine is officially released on the market, starting in Durham, North Carolina. But of course Bonsack is the son of a tobacco plantation owner in - you guessed it - Virginia.


In 1901, James Duke, having conquered the U.S. market, buys the tobacco firm of Ogden Ltd. of Liverpool, England. It is here that he now starts to build an international monopoly.

In 1904, the American Tobacco Company, the Consolidated Tobacco Company, and the Continental Tobacco Company merge into one huge concern. It is called the American Tobacco Company, and is based in New Jersey, starting with an authorized capital of $300 million.


In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the American Tobacco Company is in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Acts and breaks up the tobacco trust into 16 independent and (presumably), competing units.

However, the main result of the "trust busting" action was that four tobacco companies, instead of 16, emerge with the most powerful positions in the industry. After the ruling, the "Big Four," consisting of the American Tobacco Company, Liggett and Myers, Lorillard, and R.J. Reynolds, each now have assets ranging from $50 million to $95 million.


In 1912, Dr. Tidswell cites an early link between smoking and its effect upon the reproductive process, stating that "the most common cause of female sterility is the abuse of tobacco by men."

In 1915, a powerful tobacco lobby is formed, similar to other lobbies for life-threatening products, such as the beef lobby and the gun lobby. Rather than treat separate legislation affecting them by individual merit, the "large lobby" operation attacks in a blanket way any and all types of legislation that they may define as being even slightly "hostile" to their industry.

This arm of the tobacco business is called the Tobacco Merchants Association.

In 1958, the cigarette manufacturers organize the Tobacco Institute, Inc., a lobbying and public relations organization for the industry; it is an updated and even more militant version of the Tobacco Merchants Association.

In 1918, tobacco is further praised as a positive element by an influential public figure: General John "Black Jack" Pershing, Commander of the allied forces in France is widely quoted as saying "You ask me what we need to win this war - I answer 'tobacco as much as bullets.'" (Perhaps in Pershing's case a nickname of "Black Lung" would have been more appropriate.)

In 1939, in America, the first scientific study of the link between smoking and lung cancer is published. 55 years and many increasingly harsh Surgeon Generals' reports later, the tobacco industry giants will still be allowed to make the undocumented claim of "complete safety" in this area, with ultimately little or no interference by the U.S. government, which still numbers the tobacco lobby among its few key influences.

In 1964, Luther Terry, America's Surgeon General releases the first of many such Surgeon General reports that will appear over the years condemning cigarette smoking and its link to health problems including cancer and heart disease.

Terry states that "Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action."

And what "remedial action" follows? A small warning label is put on the sides of cigarette packs that most people either don't read or heed, beginning in 1966.

In 1962, in England, the Report of the Royal College of Physicians of London concludes, as the did the 1939 American lung cancer report, that there is a definite link between tobacco and death.

The well-publicized findings of the Royal College state without any reservation that "cigarette smoking is dangerous to one's health." Many more damaging British reports in a similar tone follow over the next few years; however, as also becomes the case in America, little is changed except for the token gesture of cigarette pack warning labels.


In 1969, cigarette advertising on TV is discontinued in Canada, and the United States does likewise two years later, but such advertising is not banned in most other countries; since it is increasingly easier and cheaper to travel, millions of North Americans continue to see cigarettes touted on TV all over the world, so the limited "ad-ban" concept does little to decrease peoples' exposure to positively-influenced portrayals of smoking.

In 1976, on the 200th anniversary year of America's Declaration of Independence, after various ineffective anti-smoking warnings and campaigns, the nation is smoking an estimated 620 billion cigarettes. This annual figure shows an increase of 2.1 percent from 1975, and future levels continue to rise from there.

In 1994, the U.S. Government's Food and Drug Administration finally declares tobacco to be "an addictive substance." The August 2 announcement receives mixed reactions by the public:

Anti-smoking advocates see officially admitting the fact by this time as being too little too late, while the smoking side, if they don't choose to deny or ignore the statement (as they have done with many lesser statements in the past), feel cheated that they have been lied to about tobacco's effects all along, since the FDA never actually admitted it before.

Meanwhile, although now labelled as an official "addictive" substance, incredibly tobacco remains available for open sale on millions of store shelves in the U.S. and around the world.

To make matters worse, a standard situation is the entire court system standing idly by while thousands die of smoking each year.

The courts have always been very hesitant to demand that the tobacco industry admit what harmful substances are in their product, because cigarette makers claim it would be tantamount to exposing a company's "trade secrets."

Meanwhile the courts strangely have steadfastly refused over the years to seek any middle-ground on that crucial point.


Saturday, May 1, 2010



Spain, the home country of explorer Cortez "The Killer," introduces cannabis smoking to Chile in 1545.

With the British dumping alcohol and tobacco on Virginia throughout 1910, cannabis couldn't be far behind - and so it was that just one year later:

In 1911, cannabis was planted in colonies near Jamestown, Virginia, as a claimed "source for human fiber." They even admitted it was also "an attempt to bolster a sagging economy."

Meanwhile, back in Virginia, they were going virtually cannabis crazy by 1762, actually awarding bounties for impressive "hemp culture" (pot-growing) and its related processing and manufacture, while punishing those who did not produce it.

English physician William O'Shaughnessy writes lengthy article on cannabis in 1840, recommending its use as a "wonder drug." The publication of this work starts a craze that escalated to the establishment of a hashish habit in England.

In 1900, Grimaldi and Sons market a popular product that is a ready-made marijuana cigarette, similar to the type major cigarette companies now have waiting in the wings for the 21st century when they think marijuana might be legalized.

The Grimaldi and Sons version of this cannabis product, although it is, like all marijuana, very dangerous to the respiratory system, is incredibly touted "for use as an asthma cure." Many pharmaceutical houses market the drug as a "medicine," including Burroughs, Lilly, Parke-Davis, and Squibb.


In 1910, marijuana, which has been used to keep Mexican laborers sedated, is brought by these workers into Texas. The practice of smoking the drug, clearly done so for other than medical purposes, quickly spreads to New Orleans, where by the 1920s it establishes itself permanently in predominately black communities.

In 1916, cannabis, in the form of marijuana cigarettes, is introduced by Mexicans to American soldiers, who are stationed along the border while fighting Pancho Villa and his men.

In 1937, cannabis officially joins the long list of flourishing black market products when the Marijuana Tax Act is signed into law. While supposedly a revenue act, a more likely possibility is that it was designed to declare use of the drug "illegal," which has the net effect of driving it underground.

In 1939, Earle and Robert Rowell publish their research pointing to the ultimate aim of the tobacco industry, which is to first addict everyone to nicotine and then, eventually, to marijuana. The popular book is called "On the Trail of Marijuana, the Weed of Madness," and it's sad prophecy may yet come true in the 21st century.

In 1939, the popular melodramatic films "Reefer Madness" and "The Cocaine Fiends" are released. Their overly-emotional approach, oftentimes reaching the point of absurdity, guarantees - even to audiences of the late '30s - that the use of these substances is ultimately regarded as desirable in the more thrill-seeking corners of society.

Go To HARD DRUGS: Part 1

Thursday, April 1, 2010



In 1000 A.D., the cultivation of coca is begun in Peru. In 1090 a fanatical Moslem sect, holy scrolls and all, are discovered to be hashish-oriented. In the 1200s hashish is introduced into Egypt.

Around the year 1600, a concern calling itself the British East India Company is formed and goes into competition with similar Portuguese and Dutch outfits, all involved in the trading of one main product - opium. By 1781, England will have total control of this monopoly.


The famous English physician Dr. Sydenham publishes a widely-read 1680 statement about opium, making this incredible claim about the substance: "Among the remedies which it has pleased almighty God to give man to relieve his suffering, none is so universal and so efficacious as opium."

Another opium-enamored English physician, Thomas Dover, took the trouble out of always having to smoke the substance in 1709, by developing it as a drink which consisted of opium and wine. Dubbed "Dover's Powder," it proves so potent that (according to Dover's own notes) apothecaries insisted that before receiving the drink, patients must make out their wills.

English author Thomas De Quincy publishes his sensationalistic series of magazine articles called Confessions of an English Opium Eater in 1821. They become so popular that they are gathered into a best-selling book the following year.

In 1797, noted author Samuel Taylor Coleridge publishes his famous book, Kubla Khan, bragging that while writing it he was under the influence of opium.


In 1800 Napolean's army returns from Egypt and introduces hashish to France.

In 1844, a French cult of sorts is formed by hashish-oriented men of letters. It is called Le Club des Hachichins (The Club of Hashishians) and meets at the Hotel Pimoden in the Latin Quarter area of Paris.

The two founders are the famous writers Theophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire, and its stated purpose is to investigate creativeness for writing while under the effects of hashish.

Many other great romantic writers of the time either join or show interest in the group, including Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas. These people are drug experimenters who are interested in investigating a new avenue of creativeness for their craft.

Author Honore de Balzac also attends, although he is not a user of the drug.

Dr. Jacques Moreau is a frequent visitor as well. Moreau has been using hashish on mental patients since 1841. Four years later, after working to unlock the secrets of insanity in the intoxication acquired from hashish, he publishes his extensive book on the subject, Hashish and Mental Illness.

In 1800, American clipper ships became involved in opium trade activities in China.

Also, in regard to the Chinese, in 1850 many of them are sold a "gold-paved streets" story on the U.S., but arrive only to find nothing for them but back-breaking labor. Regarded as less valuable than black slaves, they become a work force for gold-mining camps - and later railroad contruction - both businesses of which are monopolized by white Americans.

The Chinese bring with them their old opium-smoking habit, taught to them by the British, which allows their bosses to control them with the drug. A hundred years later the same scene will repeat itself with cocaine in U.S. black ghettos.

In 1856, the United States enters into an opium sales agreement with Siam. According to the arrangement, Americans can get opium from Siam, but when selling it later, they must also include the original opium farmer (or his agents) in the deal.

Not to be outdone by the popular French writers' experiments in hashish of the decade before, American Fitz Ludlow makes his own "hash mark" in 1856.

This is when, at the tender age of 16, Ludlow writes for Putnam's Magazine an account of his hashish-eating experiences. The following year this work is published as The Hasheesh Eater: Being Passages from the Life of a Pythagorean. The 371-page book is printed by no less than Harper & Brothers (later Harper & Row).

In 1860, Baudelaire writes about his hashish experiences in The Artificial Paradises.

In 1861, the American Civil War begins, and it can also be called America's first drug-related war, because treatment of the wounded soldiers with morphine produces 45,000 people addicted to the substance by war's end in 1865.

Also in 1865, Angelo Mariani of Corsica introduces a wine laced with cocaine. Called "Vin Coca Mariani," it becomes very popular in Europe, and is publicly praised by many influencial figures, including the Pope. It sells throughout the Western Hemisphere up until the turn of the century.

England finally passes its Pharmacy Act in 1869, which places some controls on opium and how it is prepared.

In 1870, the popularity of smoking peyote becomes evident, as it spreads to nearly all American indian tribes of the plains. Although Peyotism can be traced back to the pre-Columbian era among certain tribes, its use among the plains indians has risen dramatically by this date.

Following the European example, drugs once reserved by indians for rare ceremonial use are now increasingly thrust into the general social scene instead. This "anti-moderation" practice will have an even greater effect during the next 100 years.

Opium-smoking, being perfectly legal in the United States for the first 100 years of the country's history, finally gets the first minor law passed against it in 1875. This law is strictly local, applying only to one certain city - San Francisco, California, which is a town heavily-populated with Chinese (semi-slave) laborers who will now have to pay more for their opium habit on the black market.

In 1880, a period begins that will last a quarter century: the "anything goes" patent medicine era, where chemists and businessmen alike never have to look before they leap. Often sold on the road from the back of wagons by carnival-barker style "doctors," they range from 44% alcohol-laced cough syrups to opium-based children's medicines.

In 1884, Commanche Chief Quanah Parker converts to peyote and later forms the Native American Church of North America, wherein taking this drug will be upheld by U.S. law from then on.

Go To HARD DRUGS: Part 2