Pressure Toward Criminal Penalties

In 1914, when the international opium convention (Hague Convention) was to go into effect, several British agencies could not decide which one should take responsibility for implementing legislation and regulation of drugs. Then World War I began in August 1914 and Sir Malcolm Delevingne, an undersecretary at the Home Office, took pri mary responsibility. He suggested using the War Powers Act to stop sales of cocaine and opiates to soldiers unless they were based on a prescription by a doctor that was "not to be repeated'' (refilled without further prescription). Violators, however, could be fined only five pounds. Two or three cases were publicized and introduced the British public to "dope fiend'' fears, but they continued to be rare.

After World War I, Delevingne argued that drug control was a police responsibility for the Home Office (where it has remained ever since). The 1920 Dangerous Drug Act was vague about two critical issues—whether doctors/pharmacists could prescribe for themselves, and whether doctors could "maintain" addicts. In 1921 and 1924, the Home Office proposed regulations that ignored the rights of professionals and imposed many complex procedures. It also sought powers of search and seizure, higher fines, and longer sentences for convictions. Thus, the Home Office was making regulations that would subject doctors to criminal sanctions and circumscribe their prescribing practices—as was already happening in the United States.

Defeat Drugs and Live Free

Defeat Drugs and Live Free

Being addicted to drugs is a complicated matter condition that's been specified as a disorder that evidences in the obsessional thinking about and utilization of drugs. It's a matter that might continue to get worse and become disastrous and deadly if left untreated.

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