14 DRUG USE AND THE LAW
An opium den around 1900.
measure—smoking opium was a practice associated with Chinese men. The law did not target the sale, trade, or use of opiates in general. In 1890 the U.S. Congress followed up on this law by placing heavy taxes on opium and morphine. It was the first time the federal government got involved in anti-drug efforts, but it would not be the last. Sixteen years later, the Pure Food and Drug Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. This landmark piece of legislation created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government body responsible for regulating all food and drug products. Products had to be clearly labeled and manufacturers had to be honest about their ingredients. The result was a much safer marketplace for both food and medicine.
THE PROHIBITION ERA
In the early 1900s, the production, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages was banned in the United States. This new law was called Prohibition. It was spelled out in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified by Congress in 1919. A separate piece
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