Four decades ago, the United States’ government declared a war on drugs. When the United States declared the war on drugs, they implemented that the use of marijuana, opium, coca, and psychedelics, that had previously been used for spiritual and medical use, were now illegal within the United States for recreational use. The United States has put in billions of dollars to budget the War on Drugs. To back up the United States claim that such drugs should be illegal, they have said that it is not only bad for the well-being of humans, but overall can take a toll on the human body. But even though those are major issues the United States have been tackling since the 1970s, these issues are far from being resolved.
Drugs in the United States began surfacing in the 1800s. In 1806, Freidrich Serturner separated an organic alkaloid compound from resinous gum emitted by the opium poppy. He gave it the name morphine. During the Civil War, thousands of soldiers who had been injured in combat, were given opium or morphine in field hospitals. Many of these soldiers returned with an addiction to morphine. Doctors prescribed medicines with morphine for problems such as female troubles to war wounds. Doctors also prescribed morphine for alcoholism and continued to do so until the 1930s. The first use of cocaine was in circa 1860. Around this time a German pharmaceutical company, by the name of Merck, first started to produce cocaine for certain drugs to use for the greater good. At first they produced small amounts, only to be used in certain circumstances.
But later, they had begun producing larger amounts, word had spread that the company was using this drug. Merck’s idea was to use this drug in new products to be given to Civil War Veterans who were suffering from addiction to morphine. By 1880, Merck was producing a little over 1 gram of cocaine a year. In 1886, John Pemberton created Coca-Cola, a very popular soft drink. Pemberton had intended for his concoction to be used as a tonic for ailments. He based the components of the drink off of cocaine of the coca leaf and caffeine extracts of the kola nut. In 1903, Coca-Cola ingredients were changed, caffeine replaced cocaine.
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