It began with the United States' Harrison Narcotic Act
in 1914 and spread throughout the world, with increasing regulation of narcotic prescribing and a requirement that contents of medicines be clearly stated.
Especially after the 1914 Harrison Narcotic Act
, their habits became more firmly tied to the black market (and thus more expensive), and their lives revolved increasingly around acquiring and using drugs while avoiding arrest.
West Side opium dens paid patrolmen from the Desplaines Street station one dollar a week, while Eugene Hustion paid over $3,000 dollars a year to continue his operations in the Levee.(42) The payoffs and corruption continued even after passage of the federal Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914 brought federal agents to Chicago.
Although drug selling became an underground trade well before the federal Harrison Narcotic Act ushered in national drug prohibition, tighter legal controls meant that many users found it easier to simply stay close to their source of supply.
In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Harrison Narcotic Act
, which exploited the federal government's power to tax as a mechanism for finally enabling federal regulation of medical transactions in opium derivatives or cocaine.
It is ironic that, in 1997, Americans should recommend "drug medicalization" as a cure for America's drug problem: It was the "drug medicalization" act of 1914 - better known as the Harrison Narcotic Act
- that transformed widely used analgesics and sedatives into dangerous "narcotics," specially monitored by the federal government, available only by a physician's prescription.
The California standard subsequently shaped enforcement of the epochal Harrison Narcotic Act, a federal statute effective March 1, 1915.(3)
(11.) Purpose of the amendments (in the words of Assistant Treasury Secretary Andrews): "Strengthening the Harrison Narcotic Act," Journal of the American Medical Association, 86 (1926), 1473-4.
Although the subsequent proscription of the narcotics on the federal level has been well documented,(2) little attention has been paid to their regulation by individual states before the passage by Congress in 1914 of the Harrison Narcotic Act
- the federal government's first comprehensive attempt to address the sale and consumption of narcotics.(3) This article will address this major gap in the historiography of drug regulation by focussing on one Southern state - Tennessee.(4) This choice is significant because of the demographics of drug use in the South as a whole during this period, and because the primary materials in Tennessee are particularly fruitful.