The U.S. Congress passed the Harrison Narcotic Act on December 17, 1914. It effectively made the possession and distribution of opiate and coca-derived products illegal, although the actual provisions of the bill were not worded so directly. The Harrison Act required anyone who imported, manufactured, prescribed, or sold opiates or coca leaves to register with the federal government, pay an annual tax, and keep a record of all drug transactions. Those who failed to register or pay the tax were in violation of the law and could face ...

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