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Interim and Final Reports of the Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs.


An Appraisal of International, British and Selected European Narcotic Drug Laws, Regulations and Policies


1. 38 Stat. 1912, T. S. NO 612.

2. 26 Stat. 620, 1890.

3. L. N. T. S. No. 1845.

4. U. N., First Opium Conference Agreement, 1947 (PP. 5-14).

5. 48 Stat.1543, T. S. No. 863.

6. U. N., Conference on the Suppression of Opium Smoking, PP. 3-15).

7. U. N. Conference on the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs, 1947.

8. 61 Stat. 2280, T. I. A. S. N0. 1671.

9. 62 Stat. 1796, T. I. A. S. No. 1859.

10. U. N. Pub. S. No. 1953-xi.6.

11. See, e.g., S. Rep. No. 1440, 84th Cong., 2nd Sess., 1956 (pp. 2-4), and the documentation offered on behalf of the United States to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in May, 1955 (reproduced in Hearings on "Illicit Narcotics Traffic," Sen. Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Improvements in the Federal Criminal Code, June 2, 3 & 8, 1955 Exhibit 9, pp 275-79).

12. See e.g., Anslinger & Tompkins, The Traffic in Narcotics, New York, 1955 (P. 290); Hearings, Sen. Judiciary Committee (see #11), Part 5. Sept. 20, 1955 (P. 1437).

13. Reproduced in Hearings on "Traffic in, and Control of, Narcotics, Barbiturates, and Amphetamines," House Ways and Means Committee, Nov. 7. 1955 (PP. 470-71).

14. The reference is to Dr. Alfred R. Lindesmith. See, e.g., Lindesmith, Opiate Addiction, Evanston, Ill., 1947; and "The British System of Narcotics Control," Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 22, No. 1, Winter, 1957 (pp 138-154)

15. It is also conceded that some difficulties are being encountered with marihuana (which is not an addicting substance) in metropolitan areas and mostly among West Indian immigrants, and that there is still some opium-smoking among Chinese in the London and Liverpool dock areas.

In 1956 there were 103 convictions in the courts of the United Kingdom for offenses involving marihuana, 12 for offenses involving opium, and 29 for offenses involving manufactured drugs (heroin, morphine, etc.). Of the latter, over half were "addicts who obtained drugs by forged prescriptions, or by getting supplies simultaneously from more than one doctor," and 8 were for failure to keep drugs in locked receptacles or to keep required records. "Report to the United Nations by H. M. Government ... on the Working of International Treaties on Narcotic Drugs for 1956" (pp. 6-7)

16. Dangerous Drug Act, 1920, 10 & 11 Geo. 5, Ch. 46.

17. Supplementary legislation of major importance is contained in two enactments: the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, 1933, 23 & 24 Geo. 5, Ch. 25, and the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1951. 14 & 15 Geo. 6, Ch. 48.

18. Governed by interpretative regulations, currently Dangerous Drug Regulations, 1953, S. 1. 1955 No. 499, Reg.17. as amended in minor respects by Dangerous Drugs Regulations, 1954, S. 1. 1954. No. 1047

19. Initially the regulations provided for the disciplining of medical practitioners by a special tribunal of medical officers; this provision has never been invoked in the entire history of the Act, and in the 1953 revision of the regulations it was therefore deleted.

20. Scaled upwards from maxima of 500 pounds and two years, for second offenders, in the 1920 Act, by the Act of 1951. On summary conviction (without indictment) the maxima are 250 pounds and 12 months; and if the court is convinced that any breach of a regulation is through inadvertence, the offender shall be fined only, not more than 50 pounds.

21. Regulations, 1955, Supra, Reg. 9.

22. Report to United Nations, etc., 1956. See #15. supra.

23. Currently set forth in Regulations, 1959, supra, as Reg. 4.

24. "The Duties of Doctors and Dentists under the Dangerous Drugs Act and Regulations," Home Office, DD 101 [6th edition], 1956, par. 7.

25. Report, Departmental Committee on Morphine and Heroin Addiction, Ministry of Health, 1926.

26. See #24, Supra, Appendix IV (pp. 13-14).

27. See #15. Supra (p. 4).

28. In the view of many therapists heroin has properties of unique value in treating certain conditions, especially in the respiratory tract.

29. Acts No. 168 and 169, 14 May 1955. An extensive collection of narcotic laws and regulations has been published, in English translation, by the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations. The Danish acts are identified in this series as E/NL/1956 (pp. 99 & 129) Reference to the U.N. source will be made wherever possible in citing foreign authorities in this paper.

30. No. 559. Laws of 1933.

31. U. N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Summary of Annual Reports of Governments, 1955. E/NR/1955 (p. 49).

32. Promulgated 27 Sept. 1957, and not yet implemented. The Danish pattern, which in turn derives from the British, will be closely followed.

33. See #31, supra (pp. 45-46).

34. Law No. 1041 of 22 Oct. 1954, E/NL/1954 (p. 144).

35. 3-8 years and 30,000-4,000,000 lira fine for major offenses, including possession in some circumstances.

36. The criminal penalty for failure so to report within two days is a 10,000 to 50,000 lira fine for the first offense and 1 year's imprisonment, with suspension of the right to practice for an equal period, for subsequent offenses.

37. The law provides: "Art. 21. Any person who, by reason of serious mental deterioration caused by the habitual improper use of narcotic drugs, endangers himself or others or causes a public scandal may, at the request of the public security authorities or other interested party and after receipt of a medical report, be ordered by a magistrate to be removed to a clinic, curative establishment or mental hospital for detoxification treatment."

38. Law of 3 Oct. 1951. E/NL/1952 (p. 33).

39. See #31. Supra 1954 (P. 31).

40. Act of 24 Dec. 1953 E/NL/1954 (p. 1).

41. See #31, supra, 1955 (P. 19); 1954 (P. 32).

42. See #31, supra, 1958 (P. 20).

43. E/NL/1957 (pp. 57-84).

44. Order of 6 April 1957, E/NL/1957 (p. 61).

45. Law No. 14, 1953, E/NL/1954 (pp. 145-52).

46. Implemented by Regulations, 29 July 1955. E/NL/1956 (pp. 86-88).

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