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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

These Used to Be Legal - Ngày xưa là hợp pháp

Depending on the drug and area, this punishment can involve anything from a warning to a lengthy jail sentence. But things weren’t always that way. Many drugs that are severely restricted today were once commonplace and completely legal. In fact, not only were these drugs available, they were actually recommended and promoted by healthcare professionals, often with unfortunate results. Here are ten of them:

10. Opium

Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the un-ripened seed pod of the opium poppy. As the fluid is exposed to air, it hardens and turns black in color. This dried form is typically smoked, but can also be eaten. Opium is grown mainly in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Afghanistan. Today opium is sold on the street as a powder or dark brown solid and is smoked, eaten, or injected.
Opium is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from opium causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating. San Francisco first banned opium dens in 1875, and California restricted opium possession in 1907. The 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act effectively outlawed the drug throughout America. Today, drugs derived from the opium poppy, such as morphine and codeine, are legal but heavily restricted.

These Used to Be Legal

9. Marijuana

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. The mixture can be green, brown, or gray. A bunch of leaves seem harmless, right? But think again. Marijuana has a chemical in it called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana, too—about 400 of them, many of which could affect your health. But THC is the main psychoactive (i.e., mind altering) ingredient. In fact, marijuana’s strength or potency is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s. For the year 2007, estimates from confiscated marijuana indicated that it contains almost 10 percent THC on average. The earliest state to ban the plant was California in 1913. Federal laws passed in 1937 restricted marijuana usage to the medicinal, and later laws in the 1950s introduced mandatory sentencing for possession, with the justification that marijuana was a ‘gateway drug’ into heavier narcotics. Medical marijuana is now legal in over a dozen states, although still prohibited by federal law.

These Used to Be Legal

8. Methamphetamine

The chemical n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine is called methamphetamine, methylamphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. The shortened name is simply ‘meth’. Methamphetamine was first created by a Japanese chemist in 1893. When it is in its crystalline form, the drug is called crystal meth, ice, Tina, or glass. Usually crystal meth is smoked in glass pipes, similar to how crack cocaine is used. It may be injected (either dry or dissolved in water), snorted, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or urethra. Some people take meth because of the long-lasting high that it gives. Methamphetamine causes numerous neurotransmitters to be released in the brain, producing a sense of euphoria that may last as long as 12 hours, depending on how the drug was taken.Passed in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act severely restricted its usage, although meth is still available under the name of Desoxyn for very limited and controlled medical uses.

These Used to Be Legal

7. Peyote

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. This plant has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be produced through chemical synthesis. The top of the peyote cactus, also referred to as the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams, and its effects last about 12 hours. Because the extract is so bitter, some individuals prefer to prepare a tea by boiling the cacti for several hours. It has been used by Native American religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Peyote use was outlawed in several US states in the 1920s and 30s, but remained legal in most of the US throughout the 1960s and was often shipped interstate to interested parties. Mescaline was restricted by Congress under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Currently, members of the federally-recognized Native American Church are exempt from criminal penalties for peyote use, as long as further state restrictions do not apply.

These Used to Be Legal

6. Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca plant. It is a strong stimulate that effects the body’s central nervous system. Many famous people of the early 20th century, including Sigmund Freud and the Pope, were cocaine users. Although cocaine is derived from the coca plant, which has been in use for at least 3000 years, its modern incarnation only appeared around the 1860s. Available in many forms, including dissolved into wine, it was prescribed by doctors to treat depression and morphine addiction. In America, it was popular as a treatment for coughs and pain, and was famously included in early versions of Coca-Cola. Although technically restricted by the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act in 1914, prosecution for cocaine usage was rare, and only became common after it was listed a controlled substance in 1970.

These Used to Be Legal

5. LSD

The psychedelic effects of LSD, or ‘acid’, were discovered by accident in 1943, after the Swiss scientist who invented the chemical accidentally absorbed some through his skin. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic (man-made) drug that has been abused for its hallucinogenic properties since the 1960s. If consumed in a sufficiently large dose, LSD produces delusions and visual hallucinations that distort the user’s sense of time and identity.The effects associated with LSD use are unpredictable and depend upon the amount taken, the surroundings in which the drug is used, and the user’s personality, mood, and expectations. Some LSD users experience a feeling of despair, while others report terrifying fears–of losing control, going insane, or dying. In 1966, after widespread abuse and ill-effects caused in part by people making the drug incorrectly, LSD was outlawed in California. In 1970, it was listed by Congress as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has no recognized medicinal or therapeutic uses.

These Used to Be Legal

4. GHB

GHB is gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Famous these days as a ‘date rape’ drug, GHB is a naturally-occurring neurochemical that produces a depressant, pain-relieving effect. It was originally developed as anesthetic, but was withdrawn due to unwanted side effects.After GHB became associated with abuse and accidental deaths, the FDA cracked down on its sale in 1990. It was not listed federally as a controlled substance (illegal to possess as well as to sell) until 2000 when, like LSD, it became a Schedule 1 drug. However, GHB has recently been approved as a heavily-controlled treatment for narcolepsy.

These Used to Be Legal

3. Magic Mushrooms

There are more than 180 species of mushrooms which contain the psychedelics psilocybin or psilocin. They have a long history of use in Mexico and are currently one of the most popular and commonly available natural psychedelics.Use among Westerners was popularized in the 1950s after an article on the subject appeared in Life Magazine. In the 1960s, psychologist Timothy Leary and many others promoted these mushrooms for psychological use. Possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms was outlawed in 1968. However, since the mushroom spores do not contain psilocybin, spores are still legal in most states.

These Used to Be Legal

2. Ecstasy

MDMA (Ecstasy) is an illegal synthetic drug, which acts as a hallucinogen and stimulant. Its chemical structure (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which are known to cause brain damage. It was originally developed as a diet aid, but was also used experimentally during counseling because of its ability to remove individual’s inhibitions.Ecstasy also became popular in non-therapeutic settings, particularly nightclubs, and in 1985 was put under an ‘emergency ban’ and became a Schedule I controlled drug.

These Used to Be Legal

1. Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive and rapidly acting opiate (a drug that is derived from opium). Specifically, heroin is produced from morphine, which is a principal component of opium. Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy.First synthesized in 1874, heroin was first created as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. The word ‘heroin’ is actually a brand name created by the pharmaceutical company that invented it, Bayer. It`s intended purpose was to treat cough, but atfter hundreds of thousands Americans replaced their sore throats with crippling addiction by using heroin, heroin usage was severely restricted in the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, and outlawed altogether in 1924.

These Used to Be Legal

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