Harrison Narcotics Act Of 1914

The first international drug-control initiative, the 1909 Shanghai Opium Commission, brought the international community together in efforts to curb the illicit traffic and consumption of OPIUM, a NARCOTIC drug. The Shanghai Commission encouraged participants to enact national legislation that would address the problem of narcotics in their own countries. Representatives of several countries met at the Hague at conferences in 1911 and 1913.

During this period, the U.S. Congress became aware of public opinion favoring PROHIBITION of all ''moral evils,'' especially alcohol and drugs. New York Representative Francis B. Harrison, encouraged by both the Shanghai Commission's directive to enact national legislation to curb narcotics and the reformists in the Progressive movement in the United States who wanted to eradicate drug use completely, introduced two measures—one to prohibit the importation and nonmedical use of opium and one to regulate the production of opium in the United States. Congress enacted the Harrison Act in December 1914 with minimal debate because public opinion considered its passage necessary to combat the ''evils'' of drugs.

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