First Black Medal of Honor Winner
|William Carney was the first African-American recipient. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on July 18, 1863 at Fort Wagner, S.C. while a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in the Civil War — the state's first all-black regiment.|
The opium poppy is cultivated in lower Mesopotamia. The Sumerians refer to it as Hul Gil, the 'joy plant.' The Sumerians would soon pass along the plant and its euphoric effects to the Assyrians. The art of poppy-culling would continue from the Assyrians to the Babylonians who in turn would pass their knowledge onto the Egyptians.
In the capital city of Thebes, Egyptians begin cultivation of opium thebaicum,grown in their famous poppy fields.The opium trade flourishes during the reign of Thutmose IV, Akhenaton and King Tutankhamen. The trade route included the Phoenicians and Minoans who move the profitable item across the Mediterranean Sea into Greece, Carthage, and Europe.
On the island of Cyprus, the "Peoples of the Sea" craft surgical-quality culling knives to harvest opium, which they would cultivate, trade and smoke before the fall of Troy.
c. 460 B.C.
Hippocrates, "the father of medicine", dismisses the magical attributes of opium but acknowledges its usefulness as a narcotic and styptic in treating internal diseases, diseases of women and epidemics.
Alexander the Great introduces opium to the people of Persia and India.
Opium thebaicum, from the Egytpian fields at Thebes, is first introduced to China by Arab traders.
The Portugese, while trading along the East China Sea, initiate the smoking ofopium. The effects were instantaneous as they discovered but it was a practice the Chinese considered barbaric and subversive.
Residents of Persia and India begin eating and drinking opium mixtures for recreational use.
Portugese merchants carrying cargoes of Indian opium through Macao direct its trade flow into China.
Ships chartered by Elizabeth I are instructed to purchase the finest Indian opium and transport it back to England.
The Dutch export shipments of Indian opium to China and the islands of Southeast Asia; the Dutch introduce the practice of smoking opium in a tobacco pipe to the Chinese.
Chinese emperor, Yung Cheng, issues an edict prohibiting the smoking of opium and its domestic sale, except under license for use as medicine.
The British East India Company assumes control of Bengal and Bihar, opium-growing districts of India. British shipping dominates the opium trade out of Calcutta to China.
The British East India Company's import of opium to China reaches a staggering two thousand chests of opium per year.
The British East India Company establishes a monopoly on the opium trade. All poppy growers in India were forbidden to sell opium to competitor trading companies.
China's emperor, Kia King, bans opium completely, making trade and poppy cultivation illegal.
The British Levant Company purchases nearly half of all of the opium coming out of Smyrna, Turkey strictly for importation to Europe and the United States.
Friedrich Sertuerner of Paderborn, Germany discovers the active ingredient of opium by dissolving it in acid then neutralizing it with ammonia. The result: alkaloids--Principium somniferum or morphine.
A smuggler from Boston, Massachusetts, Charles Cabot, attempts to purchase opium from the British, then smuggle it into China under the auspices of British smugglers.
American John Cushing, under the employ of his uncles' business, James and Thomas H. Perkins Company of Boston, acquires his wealth from smuggling Turkish opium to Canton.
John Jacob Astor of New York City joins the opium smuggling trade. His American Fur Company purchases ten tons of Turkish opium then ships the contraband item to Canton on the Macedonian. Astor would later leave the China opium trade and sell solely to England.
E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt, Germany, begins commercial manufacturing of morphine.
The British dependence on opium for medicinal and recreational use reaches an all time high as 22,000 pounds of opium is imported from Turkey and India.
March 18, 1839
Lin Tse-Hsu, imperial Chinese commissioner in charge of suppressing the opium traffic, orders all foreign traders to surrender their opium. In response, the British send expenditionary warships to the coast of China, beginning The First Opium War.
New Englanders bring 24,000 pounds of opium into the United States. This catches the attention of U.S. Customs which promptly puts a duty fee on the import.
The Chinese are defeated by the British in the First Opium War. Along with paying a large indemnity, Hong Kong is ceded to the British.
The British arrive in lower Burma, importing large quantities of opium from India and selling it through a government-controlled opium monopoly.
The British and French renew their hostilities against China in the Second Opium War. In the aftermath of the struggle, China is forced to pay another indemnity. The importation of opium is legalized.
Opium production increases along the highlands of Southeast Asia.
In San Francisco, smoking opium in the city limits is banned and is confined to neighboring Chinatowns and their opium dens.
Britain passes the Opium Act with hopes of reducing opium consumption. Under the new regulation, the selling of opium is restricted to registered Chinese opium smokers and Indian opium eaters while the Burmese are strictly prohibited from smoking opium.
The British acquire Burma's northeast region, the Shan state. Production and smuggling of opium along the lower region of Burma thrives despite British efforts to maintain a strict monopoly on the opium trade.
U.S. Congress, in its earliest law-enforcement legislation on narcotics, imposes a tax on opium and morphine.
Tabloids owned by William Randolph Hearst publish stories of white women being seduced by Chinese men and their opium to invoke fear of the 'Yellow Peril', disguised as an "anti-drug" campaign.
Heinrich Dreser working for The Bayer Company of Elberfeld, Germany, finds that diluting morphine with acetyls produces a drug without the common morphine side effects. Bayer begins production of diacetylmorphine and coins the name "heroin." Heroin would not be introduced commercially for another three years.
Heroin addiction rises to alarming rates.
U.S. Congress bans opium.
China and England finally enact a treaty restricting the Sino-Indian opium trade.
Several physicians experiment with treatments for heroin addiction. Dr. Alexander Lambert and Charles B. Towns tout their popular cure as the most "advanced, effective and compassionate cure" for heroin addiction. The cure consisted of a 7 day regimen, which included a five day purge of heroin from the addict's system with doses of belladonna delirium.
U.S. Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act requiring contents labeling on patent medicines by pharmaceutical companies. As a result, the availabilty of opiates and opiate consumers significantly declines.
After 150 years of failed attempts to rid the country of opium, the Chinese are finally successful in convincing the British to dismantle the India-China opium trade.
Dec. 17, 1914
In the wake of the first federal ban on opium, a thriving black market opens up in New York's Chinatown.
During World War II, opium trade routes are blocked and the flow of opium from India and Persia is cut off. Fearful of losing their opium monopoly, the French encourage Hmong farmers to expand their opium production.
Corsican gangsters dominate the U.S. heroin market through their connection with Mafia drug distributors. After refining the raw Turkish opium in Marseille laboratories, the heroin is made easily available for purchase by junkies on New York City streets.
U.S. efforts to contain the spread of Communism in Asia involves forging alliances with tribes and warlords inhabiting the areas of the Golden Triangle, (an expanse covering Laos, Thailand and Burma), thus providing accessibility and protection along the southeast border of China. In order to maintain their relationship with the warlords while continuing to fund the struggle against communism, the U.S. and France supply the drug warlords and their armies with ammunition, arms and air transport for the production and sale of opium. The result: an explosion in the availability and illegal flow of heroin into the United States and into the hands of drug dealers and addicts.
U.S. involvement in Vietnam is blamed for the surge in illegal heroin being smuggled into the States. To aid U.S. allies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sets up a charter airline, Air America, to transport raw opium from Burma and Laos. As well, some of the opium would be transported to Marseille by Corsican gangsters to be refined into heroin and shipped to the U.S via the French connection. The number of heroin addicts in the U.S. reaches an estimated 750,000.
Opiates were popular in the United States throughout the 19th century, particularly among upper- and middle-class women who were prescribed tonics and elixirs containing opium to cure “female problems.” The practice of smoking opium was introduced in the 1850s and 1860s by Chinese laborers who came to the U.S. to work on railroads. The opiate-based drug morphine was created in 1803 and widely used during the American Civil War as an injectable pain reliever, leading to the first wave of morphine addiction. Interestingly, the drug heroin was created in 1895 and marketed three years later as a potential solution to the increasing problem of morphine addiction. The charitable St. James Society even mailed free samples of heroin to morphine addicts as part of a campaign against morphine addiction. As a result, heroin addiction began to take root and grow. The second major wave of opiate addiction in America began in the 1930s and 1940s Harlem jazz scene, and again during the Beatnik subculture of the 1950s. During the Vietnam War, heroin abuse became rampant among U.S. soldiers stationed abroad, with an estimated 10% to 15% of servicemen addicted to heroin. Heroin users began smoking and snorting heroin after improvements were made in the purity of street heroin in the 1980s and 1990s. As a result, heroin usage rose significantly in the 1990s.
From: SmartDrugPolicy - 2017
In 1969, Richard M. Nixon declared that drugs were America’s number one enemy as his administration officially launched what would be known as the U.S. ‘war on drugs’.
As heroin use was on the rise, primarily among returning Vietnam War veterans, the Nixon administration focused most of its resources on that particular narcotic, especially to reduce crime linked to drug use. On the treatment side, Nixon created the first federal methadone program (see Treating Heroin Addiction), and dedicated 75% of the total drug budget to treatment and rehabilitation. In 1970, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 was created and became the main legal foundation for drug regulation in the U.S. It consolidated all previous laws regulating the production and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and any other chemical substance considered to have a potential for abuse. To enforce the Act, a new agency was created in 1973, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), into which the former BNDD was merged.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Rockefeller Drug Laws are the statutes dealing with the sale and possession of "narcotic" drugs in the New York State Penal Law. The laws are named after Nelson Rockefeller, who was the state's governor at the time the laws were adopted. Rockefeller had previously backed drug rehabilitation, job training and housing as strategies, having seen drugs as a social problem rather a criminal one, but did an about-face during a period of mounting national anxiety about drug use and crime. Rockefeller, a staunch supporter of the bill containing the laws, had Presidential ambitions and so wanted to raise his national posture by being "tough on crime." If this strategy worked, he would no longer be seen as too liberal to be elected. He signed it on May 8, 1973.
Under the Rockefeller drug laws, the penalty for selling two ounces (57 g) or more of heroin, morphine, "raw or prepared opium," cocaine, or cannabis or possessing four ounces (113 g) or more of the same substances, was a minimum of 15 years to life in prison, and a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. The original legislation also mandated the same penalty for committing a violent crime while under the influence of the same drugs, but this provision was subsequently omitted from the bill and was not part of the legislation Rockefeller ultimately signed. The section of the laws applying to marijuana was repealed in 1977, under the Democratic Governor Hugh Carey.
The adoption of the Rockefeller drug laws gave New York State the distinction of having the toughest laws of its kind in the entire United States — an approach soon imitated by the state of Michigan, which, in 1978, enacted a "650-Lifer Law," which called for life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole for the sale, manufacture, or possession of at least 650 grams (1.43 lb) of cocaine or any Schedule I or Schedule II opiate.
Quote from the movie "The Godfather" 1972
Quote fron: Giuseppe Zaluchi head of Detroit's Zaluchi family
"I also don't believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn't do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, «I have powders; if you put up three, four thousand dollar investment - we can make fifty thousand distributing.» So they can't resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable. I don't want it near schools - I don't want it sold to children! That's an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people - the colored. They're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls."
by JUDITH S. SAMKOFF, SCM, and SUSAN P. BAKER, MPH
Abstract: Deaths in the United States classified as unintentional poisoning by drugs and medicaments fell from 14.7 per million population in 1975 to 8.8 in 1978, a 40 per cent decrease. Seventy-three per cent of this drop was attributable to a reduction in deaths coded to opiates and intravenous narcotism. These two categories accounted for 38 per cent of all unintentional drug deaths in 1975 but only 15 per cent in 1978. There was no simultaneous increase in other drug-related deaths, including suicides, to account for the reduction in deaths coded to opiates. The highest mortality rates and the greatest variation in mortality during 1970-78 occurred in 20-29 year old non-White males. Racial and sex differences in opiate poisoning mortality, notable early in the decade, were greatly reduced by 1978 due to a relatively larger decline in mortality of males and non-Whites. Time trends in mortality from opiate poisoning appear to coincide with variations in the amount of heroin smuggled into the country.
During the nine years studied, there were 67,851 deaths in the United States ascribed to poisoning by drugs, ofwhich 22,826 (34 per cent) were classified as unintentional (Table 1). The annual number of deaths from unintentional poisoning by drugs and medicaments rose from 2,505 in 1970 to a high of3,132 in 1975, then dropped to 1,906 in 1978. Between 1975 and 1978, the mortality rate per million population declined by 40 per cent, from 14.7 to 8.8. During the same three-year period, the rates for drug poisoning deaths coded as suicidal or of undetermined intent declined by 10 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, and "drug dependence" deaths decreased by 59 per cent. For all categories of drug poisoning deaths combined, deaths per million population increased by 8 per cent from 1970-1975, then decreased by 30 per cent, from a rate of 39.9 in 1975 to 27.8 in 1978 (Table
1). Unintentional drug poisoning deaths were further analyzed by host characteristics and by specific poisoning agent.
For all ages combined, mortality was twice as high in non-White males as in White males, and 1.5 times as high in non-White females as in White females (Table 1). Among 20-29 year old Whites, no decline in mortality occurred until the second halfof the decade, and then it was limited to males (Figure 2). In non-Whites, on the other hand, the decrease began in the first half of the decade and reversed temporarily in 1974-1975. The drop in mortality was greater among non-White males than among non-White females.
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