Some events and curious facts


The Sumerians use opium , suggested by the fact that they have an ideogram for it which has been translated as HUL, meaning "joy" or "rejoicing."

Earliest historical record of the production of alcohol : the description of a brewery in an Egyptian papyrus.
Approximate date of the supposed origin of the use of tea in China .
Earliest historical evidence of the eating of poppy seeds among the Lake Dwellers on Switzerland .
Earliest record of prohibitionist teaching, by an Egyptian priest, who writes to his pupil: "I, thy superior, forbid thee to go to the taverns. Thou art degraded like beasts."
Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), Greek naturalist and philosopher, records what has remained as the earliest undisputed reference to the use of poppy juice.
450 Babylonian Talmud: "Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary."
1000 Opium is widely used in China and the Far East .
1493 The use of tobacco is introduced into Europe by Columbus and his crew returning from America

Paracelsus (1490-1541) introduces laudanum, or tincture of opium , into the practice of medicine.

1613 John Rolf, the husband of the Indian princess Pocahontas, sends the first shipment of Virginia tobacco from Jamestown to England .
1650 The use of tobacco is prohibited in Bavaria , Saxony, and in Zurich , but the prohibitions are ineffective. Sultan Murad IV of the Ottoman Empire punished the soldiers smoking tobacco by beheading, hanging, quartering or crushing their hands and feed.
1762 Thomas Dover , an English physician, introduces his prescription for a diaphoretic powder ," which he recommends mainly for the treatment of gout. Soon named "Dover's powder," this compound becomes the most widely used opium preparation during the next 150 years.
1792 The first prohibitory laws against opium in China are promulgated. The punishment decreed for keepers of opium shops is strangulation.
1800 Napoleon's army, returning from Egypt , introduces cannabis (hashish, marijuana) into France . Avant-garde artists and writers in Paris develop their own cannabis ritual, leading, in 1844, to the establishment of *Le Club de Haschischins.
1805 Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner, a German chemist, isolates and describes morphine .

Dr. Jacques Joseph Moreau uses hashish in treatment of mental patients at the Bicetre.

1844 Cocaine is isolated in its pure form.
1856 The Second Opium War . The British, with help from the French, extend their powers to distribute opium in China .
1864 Adolf von Baeyer, a twenty-nine-year-old assistant of Friedrich August Kekule (the discoverer of the molecular structure of benzene) in Ghent , synthesizes barbituric acid, the first barbiturate.
1883 Dr. Theodor Aschenbrandt, a German army physician, secures a supply of pure cocaine from the pharmaceutical firm of Merck, issues it to Bavarian soldiers during their maneuvers, and reports on the beneficial effects of the drug in increasing the soldiers' ability to endure fatigue.
1884 Sigmund Freud , the famous psychoanalyst, used cocaine to treat many of his patients, later he himself became an addict.
1885 The Report of the Royal Commission on Opium concludes that opium is more like the Westerner's liquor than a substance to be feared and abhorred.
1889 The John Hopkins Hospital , in Baltimore , Maryland , is opened. One of its world-famous founders, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, is a morphine addict. He continues to use morphine in large doses throughout his phenomenally successful surgical career lasting until his death in 1922.
1898 Diacetylmorphine (heroin) is synthesized in Germany and was originally marketed as a safe, non-addicted substitute for morphine. However, it was quickly noted that heroin also produce dependency very quickly in some individuals .
1903 The composition of Coca-Cola is changed, caffeine replacing the cocaine it contained until this time.

Dr. Hamilton Wright, considered by some the father of U.S. anti-narcotics laws, reports that American contractors give cocaine to their African employees to get more work out of them.

1912 The first international Opium Convention meets at the Hague , and recommends various measures for the international control of the trade in opium. Subsequent Opium Conventions are held in 1913 and 1914.
1912 Phenobarbital is introduced into therapeutics under the trade name of Luminal .

The U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes a pamphlet urging Americans to grow cannabis (marijuana) as a profitable undertaking.

1920-33 The use of alcohol and the manufacture of heroine are prohibited in the United States.

It is estimated that in Germany one out of every hundred physicians is a morphine addict, consuming 0.1 grams of the alkaloid or more per day.

1938 Dr. Albert Hoffman, a chemist at Sandoz Laboratories in Basle, Switzerland, synthesizes LSD . Five years later he inadvertently ingests a small amount of it, and observes and reports effects on himself.
1946 According to some estimates there are 40,000,000 opium smokers in China
1951 According to United Nations estimates, there are approximately 200 million marijuana users in the world, the major places being India, Egypt, North Africa, Mexico, and the United States

Twenty thousand pounds of opium, three hundred pounds of heroin, and various opium-smoking devices are publicly burned in Canton China. Thirty-seven opium addicts are executed in the southwest of China

1956 The Narcotics Control Act is enacted in U.S.A.; it provides the death penalty , if recommended by the jury, for the sale of heroin to a person under eighteen by one over eighteen.
1958 Ten percent of the arable land in Italy is under viticulture; two million people earn their living wholly or partly from the production or sale of wine .

The tobacco industry in the United States spends an estimated $250 million on advertising smoking

1968 Six to seven percent of all prescriptions written under the British National Health Service are for barbiturates ; it is estimated that about 500,000 British are regular users.
1969 The parents of 6,000 secondary-level students in Clifton, New Jersey, are sent letters by the Board of Education asking permission to conduct saliva tests on their children to determine whether or not they use marijuana .
1971 1971 President Cvedet Sunay of Turkey decrees that all poppy cultivation and opium production will be forbidden beginning in the fall of 1972.

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