Dangerous Drugs Act 1920

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In the United Kingdom the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920 is an Act which changed to a penal offense drug addiction which up to then was, within the medical profession, treated as a disease. The former was the view held by the then Assistant Under Secretary of State, Malcolm Delevingne.[1]

The Home Office was charged with implementing the Act[2] In January 1921 the Home Secretary gave 40 days notice of his intention to issue controls over

The Act also said that the export, import, sale, distribution or possession of barbiturates, had to be licenced or authorised by the Home Secretary. This proviso also applied to dilutions of cocaine and morphine, as defined in the lower limits set by the Hague Convention.

The Home Office, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, as a result of this Act, produced a series of memorandi for doctors and dentists to explain the requirements of the Act. These were know DD 101's (Memorandi as to the Duties of Doctors and Dentists) These were distributed to doctors, although the memorandi never had any statuary power.[4] One particular memorandum, in 1938, added, for the first time, that maintenance of addicts if only for the 'gratification of addiction is not regarded as a medical need'[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berridge V (1980) The making of the Rolleston Report,1908-1926, Journal of Drug Issues, page 300
  2. ^ Heroin Addiction care and control: The British System, HB Spear, page 33
  3. ^ The Manchester Guardian; Sale Of " Dope " Drugs: New Control Regulations; 8 January 1921
  4. ^ Heroin Addiction care and control: The British System, HB Spear, page 33
  5. ^ Heroin Addiction care and control: The British System, HB Spear, page 34