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The Warfare Against Opium-Smoking in America

Outlook, Feb. 6, 1909, vol. 91, p275

Last week the United States Senate passed the Anti-Opium Bill. When it was brought up in the House, immediate consideration was prevented by certain leaders, chiefly because the bill, if passed, would involve a loss in revenue! The bill forbids the importation into the United States, after April 1, 1909, of smoking opium in any form or any preparation or derivative thereof. Opium, other than smoking opium, may be imported for medicinal purposes only, under regulations which the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to establish. Transgressors of the law are to be punished by the forfeiture of the property and a fine of a sum not exceeding five thousand dollars or less than fifty dollars, or by imprisonment for any time not exceeding two years, or both. The Outlook has already shown the necessity for the passage of such a bill. The special necessity at the present time is evident from a telegram just received by the Right Rev. Charles H. Brent, D.D., Bishop of the Philippine Islands and Chairman of the American delegates to the International Opium Conference which is about to meet at Shanghai, China. Bishop Brent cables that, if this bill is not immediately passed, every other nation of the twelve participating nations will be in a better light as to recent action in its own constituency than is our own. And yet our own Department of State was the originator of the Conference! We urge our readers to telegraph to their Congressmen requesting the speedy enactment of the Anti-Opium Bill as passed by the Senate. The provisions of the bill, which now awaits the action of the House, give ample leeway for all necessary use of opium by scientific or medical men.

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