A Hundred Years of Drug Crime

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.’

There’ll be a mid-June flurry, then the story really gets going next month. Follow it  @marekkohn, #DrugBan100.






4 thoughts on “A Hundred Years of Drug Crime

  1. Robby Feinstein says:

    Hi Marek, It’s good to hear from you again. You wrote a superb book. Have you found any more information on Lieutenant Bettini’s relationship with the unfortunate actress, Billie Carleton? Actor George Graves sadly wrote about her in his autobiography. Regards, Robert (Robby)

    Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:48:15 +0000 To: robbiesmile@hotmail.com

    • marekkohn says:

      Hi Robbie, thanks for getting in touch again, for your kind endorsement, and for the tip about ‘Gaieties and Gravities’. I’m afraid that although Lt Bettini has crossed my mind lately, the thought wasn’t accompanied by any substantive information. I shall certainly let you know if any comes my way. Best, Marek

    • marekkohn says:

      Thank you Robbie – excellent to hear about your articles!

  2. Robby (aka Robbie) Feinstein says:

    Thanks again, Marek. I’ve been continuing to write articles about Lt. Bettini, which I intend to compile into a full biography. I have two more that are due to be published in December. The Billie Carleton tragedy was certainly a very important part of his life, and I’m certain he never forgot her. Thank you for all of your great writing and research. All the best and Bettinialy yours,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s