Fuck Yeah Drug Policy

100 years of the war on drugs | BBC News

The first international drug treaty was signed a century ago this week. So what was the war on drugs like in 1912?

"Victorian Britain had been awash with opium but you wouldn’t smoke it in a den, you’d get it from the chemist as a gloopy liquid. The opium dens were largely fictional constructs encouraged by stories like Sherlock Holmes and the writings of Oscar Wilde," [Mike Jay, author of Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century] notes.

Today, when the efficacy of anti-drug measures is constantly debated, it seems curious that the 1912 treaty was an effective measure. Domestically, in the UK, the police had the upper hand.

The big changes in the West’s attitude to drugs came after World War II, Jay argues.

"The baby boomers were the first generation in history to become real global consumers. People were suddenly going to Morocco to smoke hash, or hitching with lorry drivers who were using amphetamines."

So the floodgates opened. Where once the authorities were fighting relatively small groups of offenders in a tiny drugs subculture, now they must fight millions of users and powerful international cartels. +

blog comments powered by Disqus