‘Frost is the only thing which kills it’: Lascars, the Drugs Branch, and Doctors, <i>c.</i>1928–<i>c.</i>1945

James H. Mills

in Cannabis Nation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199283422
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746161 | DOI:
‘Frost is the only thing which kills it’: Lascars, the Drugs Branch, and Doctors, c.1928–c.1945

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Chapter 2 takes up the story in the 1920s where Cannabis Britannica left off. An early media scare about the drug and an example of ham-fisted policing of North African migrant workers in London propelled cannabis into the Poisons Schedule at much the same time as it was inserted into the international drugs regulatory system at Geneva. There remained little domestic consumption of preparations of the plant in the UK in the period before the Second World War save among the itinerant workers of the imperial ports. There was certainly limited medical application of substances containing the drug, which was omitted from the British Pharmacopoeia in 1932. However, in these years the control regime was being carefully assembled. Ambitious bureaucrats at the recently established Home Office Drugs Branch primed police forces around the country to be on the lookout for cannabis, even where few were ever likely to encounter the drug.

Keywords: Home Office; drugs branch; lascars; medical science; police

Chapter.  11029 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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