Vincent P. Dole in Addicts Who Survive, pp 338-339.
Harsh laws are not executed, weak ones not obeyed.
There were an estimated 300 000 opiate addicts in the United States at the turn of the century. Today there are about 500 000. The general population has more than doubled. One hundred years ago the country had a bigger problem with opiate addiction than it does today, although this receives little attention.
It did not receive much attention then either. Many addicts were middle-class women addicted to medicinal opiates, such as laudanum. The public thought of addiction as neither a crime nor a medical problem.
This changed with the Harrison Act in 1914. Possession of narcotics (defined in the Act as including not only opiates but also cocaine and, later, marijuana) became a punishable crime. Thereafter the narcotics problem was believed to have one remedy: legal. A combination hospital-jail