Thursday, March 31, 2011

Drug War Tobacco Pharma Agricultural Mercantilism

From Licit & Illicit Drugs, by Edward M. Brecher and Consumers Reports at page 230 showing upturns in cigarette use following the times of the 1906, 1914 and 1937 U.S. 'drug control laws'
Neither the 1914 US Harrison Narcotics Act, nor the legislative efforts leading up to it, particularly the 1906 'Pure Foods and Drugs Act' can be viewed as honest or truly 'progressive', but rather a hurried-rush of hysteria for a political economic agenda, with its central public figure of Harvey Washington Wiley- Chief of the USDA Bureau of Chemistry and prominent within the private organizations- the American Medical Association and American Pharmaceutical Association.

It was most certainly not about the publics' health.

It was about protecting markets: first and foremost for that favored agricultural commodity of 'Virginia Bright Leaf Tobacco' - a variety that was not found in nature, but rather selectively bred to produce a far larger leaf with far less active Tobacco ingrediants per leaf area and with little or none of the natural more psychoactive components put there by God that had made it a more interesting and infrequent smoke- now with no interesting psychedelic properties but now far 'smoother' to be now taken deeply into the lungs- repeatedly fostering consumtion/addiction and far greater profits starting with such places as Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas; and secondly for that to be favored class of drugs, 'pharmaceuticles' that is syntheticly derived chemicals, remotely or not based upon natural substances as plants: IOW favoring the patentable drugs over those naturally occurring.

The 1906 US Pure Food and Drug Act reflected this by giving dictatorial power to the USDA Bureau of Chemistry to declare a substance 'dangerous' or deleterious to human health' WITHOUT any scientific requirements, while setting up certain substances (while lacking any justifiable science) for a public perception as extra-problematic by only requiring them but not any of their comparable competitor substances within the Act's retail lableing requirments for opiates and cocaine to be labled, but not caffeine or nicotine- skipping out on the latter by the 'grandfathering of Tobacco', by the Act's limitation of its jurisdictions over substances within the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, and that publication's convenient deletion of Tobacco a mere one year earlier in 1905. Fathom that: an Act empowering the US Department of Agriculture to effectively ban anything EXCEPT that agricultural commodity of Tobacco.

Also fathom a Harvey Washington Wiley lionized in the William Randolph Hearst's yellow journalist' mass press as a great protector of the public's health, who conducted numerous 'poison squad' experiments upon the toxicity of numerous food additives, yet apparantly never did so for the isolated caffeine, cocaine and whole Coca leaf extract that he so strongly opposed particularly the latter two- while making no real distinction between them or any levels of potency- fostering vague notions by those unacqainted with Coca/dilute cocaine to suppose that drinking the original formula Coca Cola or Vin Mariani led to injecting cocaine.

Such a view is something that was seen in certain medical journals, particularly those emanating from locations within Tobacco growing regions following the near simultaneous development of commercialized pharmaceutical grade concentrated cocaine, the industrial cigarette rolling machines, and the medical recognition of Coca's utility as a way of getting people off of Tobacco "to save smokers from exaggerated habits of nicotinsm". It was a view fully adopted by about 1904 (Harvey Washington Wiley, interestingly apparantly wrote or said little about Coca or cocaine previously, even though he had held his USDA position since 1883); and its reflected throughout such things as the 'concern' over Coca/dilute cocaine's popularity in regions that just happen to be major Tobacco growing regions, particularly as a "Tobacco Habit Cure"!

Notably, the USDA had then recently explored the commercial agricultural potential of Coca, Opium, Cannabis and other such drug plants, as it does a century later with regards to the concept of GMO Tobacco plants for manufacturing pharmaceutical (patent) drugs.

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