The war on drugs has been a colossal fail, but American politicians seem to be terrified of the political fallout if they were to admit that they fucked up, plus they’re making millions from asset seizures, increasing prison population and fines. Today, illegal drugs have never been cheaper, more widely used and more watered down, yet there seems to be am agreement among politicians that the blanket ban on certain drugs is the most effective way to deal with problem. Criminal enterprises reap huge profits from dealing in drugs and leave a bloody trail along the way. Countries such as Columbia and Afghanistan have had their legitimate business and economic activities overshadowed by the black market where products like cocaine and heroin originate. This had lead to countless murders, robberies, rapes, public executions & beheadings. Drug users are getting locked up for 25 years for possessing marijuana and drug king pins are shooting down women, children and the elderly and this is all part of a system people are dying to protect. Interestingly, these drugs which are apparently so bad for us, used to be legal, and some are legal ins prescribed form today.
Opium – Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. Opium latex contains 12 % of the analgesic alkaloid morphine which is processed chemically to produce heroin. The Chinese used Opium for medical purposes from in the 7th Century but became popular in the US during the 19th Century. At this time it was freely prescribed by doctors and even available at grocery stores. San Francisco banned opium dens in 1875 and California restricted possession in 1907. Morphine and codeine are derived from the opium poppy and are still legal today.
Marijuana – Cannabis has spread from Asia thousands of years ago to many regions around the world. It was also used as medicine and for spiritual purposes. California was one of the first states to ban weed in 1913. It was reduced to medicinal use only in 1937 and in the 1950’s came the mandatory sentences for weed possession.
LSD – Also known as acid, is an extremely powerful psychedelic. The effects of LSD were discovered by accident in 1943 after the Swiss scientist who invented the chemical absorbed some through his skin. The CIA experimented with it in the 1950’s, and called it the ‘truth’ drug for use in brainwashing but ended up just damaging subjects for life. LSD was outlawed around 1970 due to there being no recognised medicinal or therapeutic effects even though that’s what it was originally used for.
Cocaine – Blow was used in the early 20th Century by Sigmund Freud and the Pope. Cocaine is derived from the coca plant which has been in use for the past 3000 years. It became popular in the 1860’s and was prescribed by doctors to treat depression, coughs and pain. It was famously included in the early versions of coca cola. It was listed as a controlled substance in 1970.
MDMA – Aka Ecstacy was legal in the United States as recently as 1984. Synthesized and patented by a chemist working for pharmaceutical company Merck. A Berkeley professor popularised Molly for use in psychotherapy. His name was Alexander Shlugin, and claimed patients could reach greater introspection and more openness with therapists. It was made a banned substance in 1985.
Heroin, Methamphetamine, Peyote and Magic Mushrooms were all legal once too, banned around the same time and used for medical purposes or exploring higher levels of consciousness.