United States v. Doremus (1919)

In 1900, the legislative control of illegal drugs in the United States had just begun. The use and abuse of narcotic drugs had become a nationally and internationally recognized social problem and the government was starting to attempt to address the issue. The Shanghai Conference of 1909 was the first international attempt at developing more controls on narcotic drugs. Although the Shanghai Conference did not result in any formal biding international obligations, it laid the groundwork for such controls. The Harrison Narcotic Drug Act, enacted in 1914, was the first major federal legislative attempt to control narcotic drugs by requiring the restriction of the sales of narcotic drugs to physicians and registered dealers and requiring the payment of taxes relative to sale of narcotic ...

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