A hundred years ago this month, there were no illegal drugs in Britain. A hundred years ago next month, the unauthorised possession of cocaine was made an offence under wartime emergency regulations. This was the beginning of the prohibition regime under which drugs have been controlled ever since.
The ban came after a florid panic, centred on the West End of London, about the use of cocaine by prostitutes and soldiers. To mark the centenary, I’m tweeting on-this-day headlines and quotes.
The first is today’s story from the London Evening News: ‘Practically unknown a few years ago, cocaine-taking has spread like wildfire in all classes of the community.’