Illicit drugs have been part of human civilization since the beginning, although government policies and public perceptions tend to change quite regularly. It wasn't that long ago when doctors regularly prescribed cocaine and heroin as wonder drugs for a whole host of maladies, as trumpeted by an 1884 New York Times article: "The new uses to which cocaine has been applied with success ... include hayfever, catarrh [excessive mucus buildup], and toothache."
That may seem absurd now, but are we really that much more enlightened today? U.S. laws have tried to control drugs ever since the Prohibition movement mobilized in the late 19th century, with mixed results. FindLaw's Drug Charges section not only helps non-lawyers understand these laws, but provides essential historical context as well.
Today's Insider introduces three recent FindLaw articles about the sweeping drug enforcement changes of the 1970s and how they continue to shape drug policies today. Take a look at what's new: