HARD DRUGS: Part 2
BLACK MARKETS THRIVE
In 1885, famed author Robert Louis Stevenson publishes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and claims that while writing it he was under the influence of cocaine much of the time. Stevenson was alleged to have been unsatisfied with an early draft of the book and entirely rewrote it - both versions being completed during a burst of energy in only six days and nights.
Ironically, Stevenson's novel also deals with the subject of a brilliant man in search of a few moments of exitement who ultimatelly cuts his life short by ingesting dangerous chemicals.
In 1886, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famed author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, writes the story A Scandal in Bohemia, describing the effects of using cocaine - although experts note that he confuses these effects with those of morphine.
The general public doesn't notice the difference, and the "odd habit" of Mr. Holmes does little to damage his popularity. Three years later, Doyle again writes a Holmes story involving the detective's use of cocaine - The Sign of the Four - and this time the effects of the drug are described correctly.
In 1884, Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychiatry, enthusiastically endorses the use of cocaine when he publishes Uber Coca. It is a glowing account of the history and first-hand effects of the substance. Although three years later he writes an article changing his position on the matter, it is too late for the damage to be undone.
In 1887, the former surgeon general of the United States, William Hammond, announces that he swears by the use of cocaine, and that, as a matter of fact, he drinks a cocaine-laced glass of wine with each meal. He also endorses it as the "official remedy" of the Hay Fever Association.
In 1894, candy laced with hashish is sold in confection shops in Baltimore, Maryland. The product is called "Gungawalla Candy."
In 1897, legendary British psychologist Havelock Ellis reports on the effects of mescaline in a short paper entitled Mescal - A New Artificial Paradise. Since Ellis is a distinguished and influential writer, thinker and early experimenter, the publication has a profound effect.
In 1903, barbituates appear in Germany after synthesis by Fischer and von Mering. The trade name was Veronal.
In 1906, the American Medical Association approves heroin for general use. The AMA advises that it be used "in place of morphine in various painful infections."
In 1911, the Foster Bill, which would have threatened everyday sales of opium-type drugs in the United States, is killed by Congress.
In 1914, the Harrison Act is passed, which requires all drug dealers and dispensers to register with the U.S. government. This prohibition-style piece of landmark legislation, instead of controlling substance application, puts America's black market of drugs solidly into motion. As of March 1, 1915 narcotics become much more dangerous and expensive now that they have gone "underground."
In 1920, Britain guarantees to keep their black market drug dealers in business: they pass their Dangerous Drugs Act, which is similar in some respects to the Harrison Act of 1914 passed in the U.S. Now both countries have a thriving and legally locked-in black market drug underworld.
In 1916, the U.S. government, which profits mightily from the growing black market drug business, naturally attempts to stop physicians from supplying addicts with drugs. Luckily, the vote goes 7-2 against the government - however, this rare victory for common sense was very short lived, thanks to the Behrman Case.
The Behrman case, which concludes in 1922 after much litigation, results in a decision that "prevents physicians from legally supplying drugs to addicts for self-administration."
Now instead of keeping a few addicts off the street for a relatively cheap price, millions more people will become addicted and pay much more - both in money and suffering in their lives - all courtesy of the government-stimulated black market.
In 1924, another boost is given by the U.S, government to the black market, when the manufacturing of heroin is prohibited officially. Because no lifetime prison terms or death sentences are declared in the U.S. for making or using drugs such as this, which many other countries have enacted, the risk to American dealers and prospective addicts is comparativelly low.
When this weak heroin "prohibition" is passed, black marketeers across the U.S. celebrate, just as they will later rejoice when insufficiently severe laws against alcohol use fail miserably to keep America properly "dry" throughout the depression era of the 1930s.
In 1938, amphetamines are introduced into Sweden, marking the start of what will be a long period of abuse that shows no signs of peaking until the late 1960s.
In 1939, the armed forces near the fighting lines during World War II begin using the artificial stimulation properties of amphetamines, and many wind up hooked on them, in much the same way as morphine marched up through the ranks of the military during the Civil War.
In 1943, America's OSS (Office of Strategic Services), which in 1947 becomes the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), enlists the help of the newly-formed factions of what was Lucky Luciano's drug cartel, now known as the Mafia.
The Mafia, which for many years prior to the 30s had kept away from the drug area of criminality, was, thanks to Luciano and his imitators, now up to its neck in it for keeps. The huge criminal syndicate agrees to help the U.S., and does so successfully, particularly in the Mediterranean Theatre during and after World War II, up until 1950.
The Mafia's activities were not restricted to, but included, the breakdown of enemy societies under the influence of millions of dollars of Mafia-controlled drug activities. In return, as late as the 1960s, American government leaders, especially such notables as FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Director J. Edgar Hoover, will constantly insist to the news media that "there is no Mafia."
In 1951, the popular family of barbiturates finally get their induction into the black market hall of fame, with the passage of the Durham-Humphry Act. It declares that the sale of barbiturates without a perscription is to be considered a federal offense; so once again another government legal classification sends the price and sales of another newly "illegal" product straight through the roof and into the black market.
In 1954, another prominent literary figure joins the crowd that glorifies drugs in print, as Aldous Huxley expounds upon the "mind-expanding" aspects of taking mescaline, in his book The Doors of Perception. The popular tome re-kindles interest in the drug, and contains observations on a similar level with that of Havelock Ellis in 1897.
In 1955, the widespread abuse of tranquilizing drugs, as condoned by physicians, begins in the U.S.
In 1960, Harvard professor and media darling Dr. Timothy Leary begins his career as a popular purveyor of LSD. Along with Dr. Richard Alpert, also of Harvard, Leary starts an all-out "psychedelic cult."
Beginning with psilocybin, a substance containing hallucinogenic properties first isolated by Albert Hofmann, Leary's cult eventually centers around the "mystical experiences" of taking LSD.
It is during this same time that Leary first urges young people throughout America to "turn on, tune in, and drop out." In 1962 Leary and Alpert create the International Foundation for Internal freedom.
In 1971, Turkey announces the end of all opium cultivation there after the 1972 crop; however, by as soon as 1974, Turkey makes another announcement: their ban against opium poppy cultivation is to be repealed.
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