Introduction
History Of The Non-Medical Use Of Drugs

This session is going to be about the history of the non-medical use of drugs.  Let me say that, because this is going to be a story that I think it will interest you quite a bit.  The topic is the history of the non-medical use of drugs and I think you ought to know what my credentials are for talking about this topic.  As you may know, before I taught at the University of Southern California, I taught at the University of Virginia for fifteen years, from 1968 to 1981.  In that time period, the very first major piece that I wrote was a piece entitled, "The Forbidden Fruit and the Tree of Knowledge - The Legal History of Marihuana in the United States".  I wrote it with Professor Richard Bonnie, still of the faculty of the University of Virginia.  It was published in the Virginia Law Review in October of 1970, and I must say that our piece was the Virginia Law Review in October of 1970.  The piece was 450 pages long.  It got a ton of national attention because no one had ever done the legal history of marijuana before.  As a result of that, Professor Bonnie was named the Deputy Director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse and I was a consultant to that commission. 

     As a result of Richard's two year executive directorship of the National Commission in 1971 and 1972, he and I were given access to both the open and the closed files of what was then called the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, what had historically been called the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and what today is called the Drug Enforcement Agency.  Based upon our access to those files, both open and closed, we wrote a book called "The Marihuana Conviction - The Legal History of Drugs in the United States" and that book went through six printings at the University of Virginia press before being sold out, primarily in sales to my friends at the FBI over the years.  It is based upon that work that I bring you this story.

 

The Situation in 1900

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