Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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U.S drug policies have a serious effect on how drugs are controlled by the government and today I believe that the current drug laws are not positive to our American society. The first American law against drugs was passed in 1875 in San Francisco which outlawed the smoking of Opium (Schaffer 2). It was passed because the white men feared that Chinese Men were going to lure white women to their so-called "Opium Dens" . Then it was followed by a similar law which included a federal law in which trafficking opium was forbidden to anyone of Chinese descent, and it restricted the importation of smoking opium. The laws were directed at smoking opium because it was perceived as a Chinese custom. To sum it up, it was a way to legally target the Chinese.

Also blacks were the target of a law which outlawed the use of cocaine, the white men feared that these blacks would take large amounts of cocaine which they thought would make them go on a violent sexual rampage and rape white women.

There is very little evidence that any black men did this. During this time period in 1905 the United States set a record with a 105 recorded lynchings of black men. At the same time the police nationwide switched from .32 caliber pistols to .38 caliber pistols because they feared that their .32 caliber pistols were not strong enough to killed a black man high on cocaine (Schaffer 2).

I also found out that Marijuana was first outlawed in 1937 which was a measure against Mexican workers who crossed the border when they were looking for jobs during the Depression (Schaffer 2). The specific reason given for the outlawing of the hemp plant was it supposedly had violent effects on degenerate races.