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10 illegal drugs that were once legal

Posted by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM
  • 20 Replies
I just started watching Breaking Bad on Netflix and learned that Meth was once legal. This is a fact that I'd just never entertained as a possibility. Like many other things that I've posted about not knowing, I'll get the "how could you not know that?" Replies:) I'm totally ok with that, lol. Being in naive disbelief, I googled it and came across this article. I'm also curious about opinions on these substances now being illegal. Obviously marijuana is already hotly contested, I'm asking about the others.

For the sake of debate: Are there drugs on this list that should still be legal? I don't think all of them should be, after reading this article, it just seems like the government really loves banning things.

according to almost anyone you ask, is a dangerous drug. In addition to increasing energy and giving you an emotional jolt before you head to an all night orgy set to songs by Robyn, it is devastatingly addictive and is known to lead to bad choices in haircut, tooth loss, and psychosis. Messing with Meth is simply not the same as smoking a doobie behind the Junior High — and almost 100% of addicts say they were tragically hooked the very first time they tried it.
All the same, there was a time when this toxin was not only legal but was available at your local Duane Reade… or whatever pharmacy people were going to in the nineteenth century. Norodin (a brand name for Meth) was prescribed for people with light depression… presumably to turn it into heavy depression once a full blown chemical addiction kicked in. Still, it was said that Norodin was just the thing for dispelling “the shadows of mild mental depression.” One in five doctors recommend Meth? Now there’s a reason to get happy!

Our country stands at a crossroads regarding Marijuana. Considering that its psychoactive effects are less significant than a bottle of over-the-counter Robitussin it is amazing to see how this handsome little plant has played such a great roll in politics, policy, philosophy, and religion in the U.S. and beyond. In California you can get some premium sticky bud if you have a tummy ache and a doctor’s note. In most other states, however, you have to go through the hassle of texting a code word to some jerk on a bicycle introduced to you by your nephew… all to get a buzz on.
But once upon a time (up until the early 1900’s) use of Marijuana in the United States was completely unrestricted. It was grown for use in textiles and paper by farmers across the land and no doubt puffed on by 19th century farm boys who could only dream of a day when such an experience would be enhanced by the advent of Pink Floyd and Liberal Arts educations.

Do you remember what your mother did for you when you were sick with sniffles as a child? Most likely her solution to this problem involved some combination of chicken noodle soup, a VHS of your favorite Disney movie, and Heroin … right?
Probably not, but once upon a time Heroin, which was developed in 1874 as a substitute for Morphine, was used as a cough suppressant. Watching any “Intervention” episode focused on Heroin addiction will make you wonder why anyone would ever choose that over a cough, no matter how hacking and wet.
Still, it took over 30 years for people to realize that the cough was worth it and by the time they did it was apparently too late… the drug remains a ghoulish figure on the scene of American addiction to this very day and the common cold has yet to be cured.

We don’t have to suffer through a trip to Grandma’s house to hear about the glory days of legal Ecstasy use. Chances are that mom and dad enjoyed its free reign seeing as it was legal just a few short decades ago. Developed in 1912, MDMA achieved popularity in the seventies when a Berkeley professor noted its remarkable abilities in combating a wide array of psychiatric conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.
But when it was discovered that the substance was also good for a great night out dancing to horrible club-beats and caressing friends’ faces, an emergency ban was thrown on it. Modern-day ravers and druggies still enjoy this recreational substance all over the world, but unfortunately, because of the ban, the people who could actually derive real benefit from it are still deprived.

GHB, also known as the date-rape drug and “Roofies” are one of the most feared drugs today. Any club-goer with savvy knows to keep an eye on his or her drink from the first pour to the last sip as its not uncommon for club creepers and date rapists to slip this small but dangerous drug into a drink and take advantage of the weakened victim. The drug is odorless and tasteless, making it even easier for predators to slip it into a drink as the victim turns around for even just a second.
Shockingly, this drug was not made a federally controlled substance until the late, great year of 2000 even though it was developed all the way back in the wild 1960s. Its depressive and palliative effects were used medically for anesthetic purposes and the drug was often given to women in childbirth to alleviate some of their pain.
Interestingly enough, however, the drug has very recently come back into medical use as a treatment for narcolepsy. Strange, as it seems to have a knocking-out effect.

LSD or acid is a powerful hallucinogenic known for causing users to “trip balls”, see God or Buddha, and occasionally jump off buildings with the conviction that they can fly. In vogue mostly among the country’s dreadlocked war protestors, LSD was developed by accident in 1943. Its unique effects were seized upon by the U.S. government itself, which tested the drug as a means of mind control and truth extraction.
As anyone who has ever been around a person on LSD surely knows, not much truth is coming out of their lips unless it’s regarding the hidden nature of the cosmos or how strange hands are when you really look at them. In 1970, after a decade of abuse by the Haight-Ashbury crowd, the government finally put the kibosh on the substance.

Cocaine is a huge part of American culture. Illicit and illegal, yes, but where would the nation’s models, singers, heiresses and college students be without it? A quick snort of “nose candy” and you are guaranteed heightened energy and nearly fifteen minutes of tenuous and fleeting self-confidence.
But believe it or not… Kate Moss and Charlie Sheen are not the most notable people to have taken a ride on the cocaine train. Tons of famous figures from history loved the stuff, including one Sigmund Freud who used it as a therapeutic tool.
Also, ever wonder why your favorite soft drink has the same name as your favorite drug? Well, Coca-Cola used to list Cocaine as an ingredient. Modern Cocaine came about in the 1860s and enjoyed legality until 1914 when everyone stopped doing it and it was never seen again… of course.

In the mid-nineteenth century Opium use was brought to the West by the influx of Chinese laborers. There the drug had been used for centuries and it really made a splash in Europe and the United States as Opium dens sprung up like so many Starbucks locations.
Derived from the Poppy seed, smoking Opium produces euphoria, relaxation, and a delightful fogginess of mind. It was also given to women to fight menstrual cramps and, goodness gracious, given to crying babies to… you know… shut them up. It really was a great Mother’s Little Helper.

Mescaline, also known as Peyote, is an American grown hallucinogen famous for its historic use in Native American religious ceremonies. Despite being made illegal in some states during the 20s and 30s, Peyote was legally enjoyed by most states throughout the 60s… when it really counted. Hippies tired of their boring white bread, Christian upbringings turned to the writings of Don Juan and other Native American spiritual guides before taking Peyote to engender their own Spirit Quests. These people now hold down respectable jobs where they play Minesweeper at their cubicle desks, but no doubt they still think fondly of their desert wandering and spiritual Peyote visions.
In 1970 the drug was outlawed but many Native American places of worship are allowed exemption from this ban. This was a nice gesture of the U.S. government, all things considered. But today’s college students get no such break.

Despite having been used for thousands of years, people were debating the existence of Hallucinogenic mushrooms up until the early 1900s. Commonly thought of as a natural LSD,Mushrooms produce profound visual and audio hallucinations wherein the true nature of the human experience is dubiously bestowed on the drug-taker for the duration of about eight hours.
In the 60’s the drug was made famous by writer and philosopher Timothy Leary who espoused its use as a tool for spiritual and psychological development and mushrooms quickly became a huge part of American hippie subculture. But towards the end of the 60s, as America’s other favorite pastimes became illegal one by one, mushrooms bit the dust as well with a federal ban.
by on Jun. 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Jun. 19, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Heroin is still legal. They just call it Diludid. 

I'm tattooed,pagan,pro-choice,pro-legalizing marijuana,pro-gay marriage,anti-war,non-vaxing,tree hugging,animal loving,book reading,animal testing free,depression battling, trying to raise a free spirit and letting her be who she is but still teaching her important life lessons,fighting for equal rights at the same time,don't like it get over it.

by Jenn on Jun. 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

I can't imagine why I would want any of those legal, except weed. 

by Bazinga! on Jun. 19, 2013 at 9:09 PM


Quoting jehosoba84:

I can't imagine why I would want any of those legal, except weed.
by Christy on Jun. 20, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Hmmmm all drugs were legal at one point in time or another. I have little problem with making drugs legal. I may not agree with the use of many of those drugs but I do not think that it should be criminal. Besides that has been the biggest failure since the Titanic.

by Ruby Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

No. Why?  No personnel responsibility, higher crime, higher health insurance, more deaths.

by Platinum Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Ah what about frog licking ... That's illegal now.
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by René on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Quoting jehosoba84:

I can't imagine why I would want any of those legal, except weed. 

Because prohibition and steep sentences do not deter use.  If a person is going to use drugs they will and prosecution of drug users does not help the user or society.  Fear of arrest can cause dangerous behavior and take black market dealings to a critical level.

I would add that the meth being made in clandestine labs today is not the same animal discussed in the article.  The process necessary to refine the speed from the pill is dangerous and adds further addictive properties to the drug.

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver

by René on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM
1 mom liked this

Quoting pvtjokerus:

No. Why?  No personnel responsibility, higher crime, higher health insurance, more deaths.

Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

Romano Cagnoni / Getty

Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It's not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled "coffee shops," Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don't enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal's new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to "drug tourists" and exacerbate Portugal's drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8% (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well.

Portugal's case study is of some interest to lawmakers in the U.S., confronted now with the violent overflow of escalating drug gang wars in Mexico. The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

"I think we can learn that we should stop being reflexively opposed when someone else does [decriminalize] and should take seriously the possibility that anti-user enforcement isn't having much influence on our drug consumption," says Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries.

But there is a movement afoot in the U.S., in the legislatures of New York State, California and Massachusetts, to reconsider our overly punitive drug laws. Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal's, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.

At the Cato Institute in early April, Greenwald contended that a major problem with most American drug policy debate is that it's based on "speculation and fear mongering," rather than empirical evidence on the effects of more lenient drug policies. In Portugal, the effect was to neutralize what had become the country's number one public health problem, he says.

"The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization," says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.

Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that "it's fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise." However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.

The Cato report's author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, "that is the central concession that will transform the debate."

Read more:,8599,1893946,00.html#ixzz2WlZTNW8Z

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver

by on Jun. 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM

 Meth is still used medicinally. It is used as a treatment for herion addicts.

The problem all comes about when drugs are not regulated and are abused by their users.

Taking a lot of a good thing ends up not being too much of a good thing after all.  

by Ruby Member on Jun. 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM

This sums up my feelings.

Quoting stormcris:

Hmmmm all drugs were legal at one point in time or another. I have little problem with making drugs legal. I may not agree with the use of many of those drugs but I do not think that it should be criminal. Besides that has been the biggest failure since the Titanic.

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