History of Legal and Illegal Drugs from 1940 to 1955 A.D.

About the history of legal and illegal drugs from 1940-to-1955 A.D. in particular opium in China, Marijuana, opium prohibition in Iran, French people and wine.

1941 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek orders the complete suppression of the poppy; laws are enacted providing the death penalty for anyone guilty of cultivating the poppy, manufacturing opium, or offering it for sale.

1943 Col. J. M. Phalen, editor of the Military Surgeon, declares in an editorial entitled "The Marijuana Bugaboo": "The smoking of the leaves, flowers, and seeds of Cannabis sativa is no more harmful than the smoking of tobacco. . . . It is hoped that no witch hunt will be instituted in the military service over a problem that does not exist."

1946 According to some estimates, there are 40 million opium smokers in China.

1949 Ludwig von Mises, leading modern free-market economist and social philosopher: "Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous, habit-forming drugs. But once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. A good case could be made out in favor of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government's benevolent providence to the protection of the individual's body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than any bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music? The mischief done by bad ideologies, surely, is much more pernicious, both for the individual and for the whole society, than that done by narcotic drugs."

1951 According to UN estimates, there are approximately 200 million marijuana users in the world, the major places of use being India, Egypt, North Africa, Mexico, and the U.S.

1951 Twenty thousand lbs. of opium, 300 lbs. of heroin, and various opium-smoking devices are publicly burned in Canton, China. Thirty-seven opium addicts are executed in the southwest of China.

1954 Four fifths of the French people questioned about wine assert that wine is "good for one's health," and 1/4 hold that it is "indispensable." It is estimated that 1/3 of the electorate in France receives all or part of its income from the production or sale of alcoholic beverages; and that there is one outlet for the sale of alcohol for every 45 inhabitants.

1955 The Prasidium des Deutschen Arzte-tages declares: "Treatment of the drug addict should be effected in the closed sector of a psychiatric institution. Ambulatory treatment is useless and in conflict, moreover, with principles of medical ethics." This view is quoted approvingly, as representative of the opinion of "most of the authors recommending commitment to an institution," by the World Health Organization in 1962.

1955 The Shah of Iran prohibits the cultivation and use of opium, used in the country for thousands of years; the prohibition creates a flourishing illicit market in opium. In 1969 the prohibition is lifted, opium growing is resumed under state inspection, and more than 110,000 persons receive opium from physicians and pharmacies as "registered addicts."

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