Friday, December 10, 2010

What's the word - Opium, Alcohol, Marijuana: Legal or Crime? - A function of time

Opium: It was Business for British and a ban in China - finally resulting in the Opium Wars

  • A.D. 1200
    Ancient Indian medical treatises The Shodal Gadanigrah and Sharangdhar Samahita describe the use of opium for diarrohea and sexual debility. The Dhanvantri Nighantu also describes the medical properties of opium.
  • 1773
    East India Company assumes monopoly over all the opium produced in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Warren Hastingsintroduces system of contracts. Contracts for dealing in opium were awarded through auction.
  • 1793 
    The British East India Company establishes a monopoly on the opium trade. All poppy growers in India were forbidden to sell opium to competitor trading companies.
  • March 18, 1839 
    Lin Tse-Hsu, imperial Chinese commissioner in charge of suppressing the opium traffic, orders all foreign traders to surrender their opium. In response, the British send expeditionary warships to the coast of China, beginning The First Opium War.
  • 1856 After the second opium warThe opium trade was legalised and Christians were granted full civil rights, including the right to own property, and the right to evangelise.
  • July 2001
    Portugal decriminalizes all drugs for personal consumption.
  • January 2004
    Consumer groups file a lawsuit against Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma. The company is alleged to have used fraudulent patents and deceptive trade practices to block the prescription of cheap generic medications for patients inpain.

The first half of the 20th century saw periods of prohibition of alcoholic beverages in several countries:

Prohibitions of cannabis sativa as a drug arose in many states from 1906 and onward.
In the 1970s, many places in the United States started to decriminalize cannabis
2010 - A $20 Billion industry as per CNBC report today

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