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Narcotic Drug Act

  • By: Aaron J. Kivisto & Todd M. Moore
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Given the separation of the state and federal governments and the relative autonomy of each to legislate and enforce drug laws, efforts over the past century to address the drug problem in the United States have been met with varying degrees of consistency between these two bodies.

For example, with Congress's introduction of the Harrison Act in 1914, most states accepted a majority of this act's provisions restricting the sale and possession of cocaine and opiates. Still, however, the states were far from uniform in their definitions of what constituted a drug-related criminal offense and what the appropriate penalty should be. In order to address this lack of uniformity in drug-related legislation, the National Commissioners on Uniform State Laws were charged with the task of drafting ...

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