Friday, August 23, 2019

Drugs and Crime Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Drugs and Crime - Essay Example With its highly addictive nature, the introduction of opium into America in the 1800s was the country’s first introduction to the dangers of recreational drug use. Originally seen as more of a disreputable practice involving the integration of races as mentioned in Martin Booth’s Opium: A History, â€Å"The dens were a sign of decadence and contact with the Chinamen, as with other colored races, was seen as socially polluting† (104), the use of opium quickly spiraled out of control. Tracing through the laws governing opium importation, one can see the government slowly becoming aware of the potential social ills brought in with the practice. According to Holden, opium importation was at first merely charged import duties in San Francisco, which were gradually increased as the government became more aware of the volumes of the drug being imported. However, raising the duties merely served to increase the smuggling trade. By 1898, legal restrictions on the use and distribution of the drug were proving to have little effect other than to drive the trade underground as was reported in that year in the Scientific American. â€Å"The great demand for the extract has induced smuggling, and illicit stills were started everywhere. Opium was and is still smuggled in at the Canada and Mexican lines. It is landed at the islands off shore and brought in by Chinese fishermen, smuggled in on steamers, dropped into the bay and the law evaded in numerous ways familiar to the ‘heathen Chinee’† (Holder 147). Despite the growing power of the opium trade in the late 1800s, â€Å"Illegal Drugs† states â€Å"[international] controls, domestic law enforcement, and a societal shunning of these much-feared substances combined to largely eliminate† the use of drugs by the outbreak of World War II. Evidence of the social opinion of the use of opium and

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