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Books - The Addict and the Law
Written by Alfred Lindesmith   
Monday, 04 January 2010 00:00


The opium poppy was introduced into the Orient in the early centuries of the Christian era, presumably by Arab traders from the Middle East.1 The therapeutic virtues of Opium were known to Chinese doctors and the drug was used by them for centuries before the practice of smoking opium made its appearance. This practice spread in conjunction with the adoption of tobacco smoking and the introduction of the tobacco plant into the Far East by the Spaniards. Opium and tobacco were evidently at first smoked in combination. The practice of smoking opium first took root in the Dutch East Indies, from where it spread to Formosa. From Formosa it spread to the Chinese mainland during the sixteenth century. In subsequent years, up to and including the present, the smoking of opium has been a peculiarly Chinese problem, in the sense that the habit became extremely widespread in that country and that it was carried to other Far Eastern countries by Chinese migrants. As the League of Nations Commission of Enquiry said in 1931, "At the present time the habit of smoking opium is spread mainly among the Chinese.... In all countries subjected to the Commission's enquiries are found smaller or larger Chinese communities which are invariably addicted to opium smoking to a lesser or greater degree." From these communities the habit sometimes spreads to the indigenous populations.2

The history of antiopium measures in the Far East may be conveniently divided into three periods: ( 1 ) the period before 19 1 2 which was the date of The Hague Convention in which agreement was reached by the powers with interests in the Far East to attempt a gradual suppression of opium smoking, a vice which was subject to no serious control before this time; (2 ) the period from 19 12 to World War 11, characterized by the prevalence of government monopolies which controlled legal production and distributed opium to consumers, who were often registered or rationed; (3) the third period, after World War 11, characterized by the elimination of government monopolies and the triumph of prohibition. The latest country to prohibit opium smoking Was Thailand in 1959.,' Before 19j2, with some exceptions, opium was in the main handled like other commercial products for the sake of profits which it offered. There was little effort to control consumers or to reduce consumption.

At the International Opium Conference in Shanghai in 1909, the United States, seconded by China, advocated immediate prohibition and suppression. The European "colonial powers," on the other hand, favored 2 policy of gradual suppression, and it was this view which was accepted and later implemented at The Hague Convention of 1912.4

The period of government monopolies was marked by a wide variety of schemes for controlling and limiting production and distribution, presumably with a view to reducing the problem gradually in preparation for complete suppression or prohibition at some indefinite later time- The government monopolies -;;-ere Subjected to considerable criticism on the ground that they functioned primarily to raise revenues rather than to reduce the problem. While there were good grounds for this criticism in many instances, some of the programs were relatively successful- In fact, the most effective Far Eastern programs of any type seems to have been that imposed on Formosa by the Japanese after they took over the island in 1895.

This program, a government monopoly, in forty years reduced opium smoking in Formosa to a small fraction of what it had been, Nevertheless it was not adopted by other nations nor was it continued in Formosa after the war when the island passed out of Japanese control.

Prominent among the influences which led to prohibition of opium smoking in the Far East was political pressure upon the colonial powers by the United States, by the League of Nations, and by the United Nations. Anticolonial sentiment among native peoples of the Far East made it easy for them to accept the idea that the government monopoly system was a vicious form of exploitation, and that the only morally defensible program was one of immediate and complete suppression. Practical objections to this which emphasized that prohibition would encourage the illicit
traffic were of no avail in the face of the charge that the European powers were interested only in their own revenues. The American position on the side of China and the colonial peoples gave the United Stares important political and moral advantages.

The two most important exceptions to the trends sketched in the preceding paragraphs were China and the Philippines. In the former, as will be indicated in detail later, the prohibition system of control was the main one used after 1729, In the Philippines, prohibition was established in 1908 after the United States took over the islands from Spain.

Smuggling has been rife throughout the Far East for centuries in all countries where there are opium smokers, and they are found almost everywhere. With few exceptions this has beer, true regardless of the system of control. Official connivance and police complicity in the traffic have always been widely reported and are still probably the rule rather than the exception.

With the single exception of Formosa during the period of Japanese control (1895 - World War 11), the prevalence of smuggling has made it virtually impossible to form reliable estimates of the extent of the problem in any part of the Far East. Figures that are released are ordinarily highly unreliable and require a great deal of interpretation to be understood at all. They are sometimes doctored in order to create the desired impression and to put officials in a good light. During the era of government monopolies statistical data ordinarily pertained only to registered smokers and ignored those who relied upon smuggled supplies. Where prohibition is practiced, the only available figures are those which reflect police activities, so that the extent of the illicit market and the spread of the habit can only be vaguely estimated. Under these circumstances conflicting claims covering a wide range are made, depending upon the interests of those who make them. The problem itself is subterranean, often largely out of sight and out of control.

The effect of the present prohibition era in the Far East upon the number of addicts is impossible to estimate. However, abundant supplies of smuggled opium and manufactured drugs such as heroin continue to be available. During the era of government monopolies, when sporadic local attempts were made to reduce consumption by such devices as reducing rations progressively (e.g., 10% per year) or by raising government prices, it began to be noticed that smokers sometimes resorted to the use of manufactured drugs such as heroin or morphine as substitutes. This trend has been greatly accelerated since the late war, throughout the Far East, by the adoption of prohibition. The hypodermic method of use is also gaining ground.

Like opium, heroin was first introduced to the East from the outside, by manufacturing countries of the West. In the 1920's or earlier heroin pills began to be manufactured in Shanghai and other parts of the Far East. Heroin is now exported in quantity from that part of the world. increasing consumption of heroin, morphine, and other manufactured equivalents of opium is being regularly reported in most Far Eastern countries
International discussions of the Far Eastern opium and drug problems have often been highly charged with emotion and filled with political crosscurrents, mutual recriminations, charges and countercharges. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the East India Company encouraged the cultivation of the poppy in India and sold opium in the Calcutta auctions for eventual shipment to China, Great Britain and India were heavily censured. When China expanded opium production and began to export it, she came under heavy attack. All of the European powers with Far Eastern possessions in which opium smoking was permitted were assailed by prohibitionist-minded critics in the United States and elsewhere, and particularly by nationalistic, anticolonial natives of the Far East. The European colonial powers retaliated as best they could by pressing the United States to report on the success of its own prohibition scheme in the Philippines and by blaming the continuation of the smoking habit on the excessive supplies of opium being produced in China. After the Japanese invasion of China, Japan became the favorite target of attacks. After World War II, when opium smoking had been prohibited in most areas, Thailand was widely criticized for not following suit and it was alleged that opium produced legally in that country was nullifying the efforts of Thailand's neighbors to control their problems. Communist China is regularly accused by the United States and Nationalist China of deliberately encouraging and exploiting the illicit sale of Chinese-produced opium for political ends. Countries in which there is an illicit drug traffic with supplies originating outside the country invariably blame the country of origin for their problems; no blame appears to attach to those countries which provide the markets for illicit supplies.


By 1000 A.D. opium was already being widely used in China and the Far East as an indulgence. and -when Portuguese traders showed up in that part of the world many centuries later they found in existence an old and well established opium trade being managed by Arab and Indian merchants. The Portuguese took over this lucrative trade, to be subsequently displaced by the Dutch, who were in turn displaced by the British.
It is of special historical interest that China has had a longer experience with the prohibition system of control than any other nation, for its first prohibition laws were promulgated in 17 29. The Emperor's edict of that year provided punishment for all parties in opium transactions except the user. The punishment decreed for keepers of opium shops was strangulation after brief imprisonment. As the practice of smoking opium continued to spread, other edicts appeared, and the punishment was increased for lesser parties in the transactions including the users. This prohibition system lasted until well after the Opium War, to the year 18 58, when the trade was legalized.5 During the twentieth century the Chinese government sporadically returned to the traditional system of prohibition backed by savage punishment for all offenders and for addicts.

What the program of opium control is in Red China seems to be hard to learn, even for informed persons in Hong Kong. In that city it is said that there is no opium problem in Red China.,' While there is a lively smuggling trade between Hong Kong and China involving a variety of items, opium is evidently nor important among them, There appear to have been few addicts among the millions of refugees who migrated to Hong Kong from the mainland after World War 11 and after the Communist take-over. On the other hand, there is a huge smuggling racket in Hong Kong which involves opium and locally manufactured heroin, The source of some of this opium may well be Communist China, for it is reported that much opium is grown in the general region of the borders of Thailand, Laos, Burma, and China .7 Supplies from this region, which is relatively inaccessible and inhabited by tribal peoples, easily move across the national boundaries to reach the big coastal distribution centers such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and Rangoon.8

American soldiers who fought in the Korean conflict have told the writer that there were opium addicts among the Chinese prisoners that they took. These Chinese soldiers allegedly carried supplies of opium which were issued to them by the military. This suggests that there may be some sort of licensing of addicts in Red China with legal distribution of supplies. if this were the case it would account for the impression that there is no opium problem there. Prior to the Communist victory it was generally estimated that there were more than 5.000,000 addicts in China. These users could not have vanished into thin air, but what happened to them is not clear.

While no reliable statistics are at hand concerning the development of the problem in China, it appears that opium smoking increased in popularity during most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By 1715 the British had taken over the opium trade from the Dutch, and the East India Company was organizing poppy cultivation in India for the Chinese market. In the meantime, as the demand mounted, Indian opium found itself in competition with that being grown to an increasing extent in China itself. By 1800 it was estimated that domestic production of opium in China was equal to the amounts imported from India.9

Although the governments of Great Britain and India were severely criticized for exporting opium to China, the fact was that Chinese officials were deeply involved in the illicit traffic and were making fortunes from it. Calcutta opium was brought to the coast of China by the opium clippers and delivered there to Chinese smugglers who carried it into the interior. High Chinese officials who were charged by the Emperor with the duty of preventing the importation of the drug in some instances owned their own fleets of smuggling vessels, which they used to accept deliver y from for
ships in the harbor outside of Canton, where the bulk of imported illicit opium was delivered. When the opium ships had made their deliveries it was the custom of Chinese officials to go through the motions of chasing the opium ships to sea and reporting to the Emperor that the nefarious foreign opium traders had been repelled and would probably not return.10

Domestic production of opium in China was stimulated by the numerous taxes and fees levied upon imported Indian opium. By 1900 the poppy was being grown in all the provinces of China and domestic production was thought to be about six times that imported from India." In the period from 1779, when the first prohibition edict was issued, to 1900, China had increased her annual consumption of smoking opium more than an estimated one-hundred fold and her nationals had carried the habit to nearly all countries of the Far East and had even introduced it into the United States via San Francisco's Barbary Coast during the decades following the California gold rush.

Early in the twentieth century in 1906 the Chinese emperor again became concerned over the prevalence of opium smoking and again a prohibiton verdict was issued proclaiming the intention of suppressing both the native and the foreign product within a period of ten years.12 India agreed to reduce its exports with a view to ending them within the allotted period, and did so in advance of the stipulated time. There followed a period of harsh enforcement with stern punishment of offenders that included beheading.

By 1917 the British minister at Peking was able to state that opium cultivation had virtually disappeared, although some opium was still being produced in the remote provinces. Large numbers of addicts remained, however. The richer ones were able to provide themselves from secret caches and from smuggled supplies.. while the poorer ones began to turn to the use of morphine and heroin pills, which began to be imported in large quantities and were smuggled into the interior.

In a matter of a few years after this apparent victory, when many observers believed that China was on the verge of eliminating her opium problem, political turmoil and the greed of local military governors brought about a rapid revival of poppy cultivation and by 1924 the situation was as bad as it had ever been. Local warlords and troops, often little more than bandits, encouraged and even forced the cultivation of the poppy in order to collect taxes or "fines" from the cultivators, as well as to reap the profits from sale.

Chinese representatives at Geneva placed the blame for the situation in their country upon extraterritoriality and foreign interference.
In 1934-35 a new plan under the direction of Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek was announced by the Central Committee of the Kuomintang. This plan proposed to suppress the cultivation of the opium poppy by stages and to establish prohibition in six years. Cultivation of the poppy was to be suppressed at once in the inner or coastal provinces and gradually in the outer frontier provinces. Smokers were required to register and to submit to a gradually program of cures. Where poppies were cultivated, strict supervision was to be enforced and heavy penalties were provided for all violations. After January 1, 1937, not only manufacturers and dealers in narcotic drugs, but also uncured addicts were given life imprisonment or executed, and the death penalty was prescribed for government employees who protected offenders or accepted bribes. Some thousands of offenders were executed under this program.

Despite these efforts, and despite the establishment of numerous hospitals to cure smokers, the demand of addicts for their supplies continued to be met either by smuggled supplies of opium or by heroin and morphine tablets which were again smuggled into the country on a vast scale. Revenues from the sale of opium continued to be high in many provinces and numerous officials continued to connive in the illicit trade and to line their pockets with the profits

In 1941 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek circulated a statement throughout all of Free China to mark' the end of the six year period of suppression. This statement forbade any further indulgence in Opium and provided the death penalty for anyone guilty of cultivating the poppy, manufacturing opium or narcotics. or offering them for sale. Drug users were to be shot if caught taking injections or smoking heroin pills, while opium smokers were made subject to imprisonment for terms of from one to five years. Persons instigating or encouraging resistance against the uprooting of poppies were made subject to life imprisonment or execution.

In the meantime Japan had invaded China in 1937 and the opium racket in the occupied portions of China passed into her hands and was exploited by her military governors to raise revenues for the prosecution of the war. The deterioration of economic and political conditions in China during the war and afterward during the struggle between the Nationalists and Communists, make it impossible to estimate what the consequences of Chiang Kai-shek's program might have been. In view of the history of the problem in China, the millions of smokers, the inability of the Central Government to control the outer provinces, where cultivation of the poppy was never stopped, and the extreme difficulty, of controlling the smuggling of opium and heroin, there are few grounds for optimism. In all probability, had the program continued, the illicit manufacture and distribution of heroin and morphine would have grown more rapidly then they did.


Hong Kong became a British colony after the first Opium War between Britain and China, in 184 1. The population of the colony is in excess of three million, and in 196 1 was about five times what it was in 1945. The population is almost wholly Chinese; in fact, in all respects except the political, Hong Kong is a part of China. This is true of its opium problem.

In 1914 there was established a government monopoly system under which government opium was sold to the smokers, who were permitted to smoke legally except that the operation of opium dens, or divans as they were called, was illegal. The government for a time made a serious attempt to eradicate the illegal opium dens that flourished in the area but more or less gave up the hopeless struggle after a few years. The government opium was sold by vendors who were paid a monthly wage and who made no profit of their own from it.13

The main feature of the system which it was hoped would discourage consumption was the high price charged for the superior quality opium sold by the government. In 1924 this was estimated at about four times the black market price.14 Under these conditions it was inevitable, considering the income level of the population, that most users patronized the illicit market. The latter was large, well organized, and had been in existence in Hong Kong before the British had acquired it. Around the beginning, of the twentieth century manufactured drugs such as heroin and morphine began to be imported into China from Western countries, and later began to be manufactured in China.15 Red and pink heroin pills were commented upon in the 19zos and factories devoted to their manufacture began to be discovered.", The overwhelming proportion of narcotic addicts in Hong Kong had always consisted of opium smokers, and this continued to be the case until after 1949, but the use of heroin pills steadily gained ground.

On one occasion only in the history of Hong Kong's government monopoly was there an experiment with low-priced opium." This experiment was the result of a large seizure of high quality imported illicit opium. It was proposed to distribute this to smokers at a low price in order to determine what effects this would have on (a) the illicit traffic, and (b) the number of smokers who would buy legal rather than illicit opium. The latter figure increased by several hundred per cent but the experiment was discontinued before any conclusion could be reached about the effects upon the illicit traffic. Subsequently, government opium continued to be sold at much higher prices than those on the black market and the number of legal purchasers declined.

In the period between the two world wars Hong Kong officials generally considered the prohibition system of control over opium smoking as impractical and unenforceable.18 Emphasis was placed on the impossibility of checking the illicit traffic, on the prevalence of corruption among enforcement officials, and on the failure of prohibition in the only two Far Eastern countries that had experimented with it up to that time, i.e., China and the Philippines. By, the time that World War 11 began there were fewer than 1000 smokers in Hong Kong who purchased government opium in contrast to an estimated several tens of thousands who relied on the smuggled product. In addition, there were thousands of addicts who used heroin pills which were cheaper than opium and made detection by the police more difficult. In 1938 about 3.500 persons were imprisoned for violations of anti narcotics laws.

In 1943, the American Government called a conference in Washington with representatives of Britain, The Netherlands, and a number of other interested nations, to consider what Allied policy with respect to opium would be in Far Eastern areas wrested from the Japanese. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics account of the results of this meeting sheds considerable light on how it happened that Opium smoking was prohibited in Hong Kong after the war, and why the prohibition system of control was generally adopted in the Orient.

The announcement on November 10, 1943, by the British and Netherlands Governments of their decision to suppress opium smoking in their Far Eastern colonial empires following the liberation of those from Japanese domination constitutes one of the most important areas developments of all times in international drug control. The United States has been urging this policy since the convocation of the Shanghai International Opium Commission in 1909 which was the first attempt to deal internationally with suppression of the abuse of opium. Such action should cut off illicit traffickers from post-war access to what has in the past been one of their leading sources of supply. Opium was purchased freely at small cost by the smuggler across the counter in the Far East and then smuggled into the United States and other victim countries. Curtailment of the opium traffic there has become a matter of even more immediate concern to the United States in view of military operations in the Far East and the large number of young Americans deployed in that area.

The Japanese are maintaining these monopolies in the areas which their armed forces now occupy and are deriving enormous revenue there from two per cent of the entire revenue of the Netherlands East Indies is derived from smoking opium . In British Burma, 5 per cent of the country's revenues are similarly derived. In the British Federated Malay States, 6 per cent. In British North Borneo, 10 per cent. In British Sarawak, 11 per cent. In the British Unfederated Malay States, 12 per cent. And in the British Straits Settlements, 20 per cent. Before the Japanese conquered Hong Kong there were in that city 5,557 rationed government smokers and an estimated 90,000 illicit smokers, which illustrates the failure of the sale of opium by governments.... The smoking of opium under prescribed conditions has been legal in the Netherlands Indies, British Malaya, the Unfederated Malay States, Brunei, Formosa, Kwantung Leased Territory, Burma, India, Ceylon, British North Borneo, Hong Kong, French Indochina, Thailand, Kwan
chow-wan, Macao and Iran.

Beginning in January 13, 1943, a series of informal meetings were held in the Treasury Department office of the Commissioner of Narcotics in Washington, attended by representatives of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, and China; also by representatives of the State Department and the Foreign Policy Association, regarding the question of what would be done in case some island or territory where a smoking-opium monopoly exists is occupied by the military forces of the United Nations,

From the standpoint of the health and safety of the men of the armed forces of the United States this Government was convinced that it will be imperative immediately upon the occupation by the United States forces of a part or the whole of any one of the Japanese-occupied territories to seize all drugs intended for other than medical and scientific purposes which may be discovered, and it therefore instructed American expeditionary forces under American command to close existing opium monopolies, opium shops and dens. That was the immediate problem. The long-range problem was what should be done in regard to the opium monopolies and the opium problem in general. Another question was, What will happen if the British or the Chinese alone should reoccupy Burma, for example? Would the British license the sale of opium for non medical needs, while the Chinese refused to license the opium smokers.

The competent authorities of the United States were of the opinion that there would be an increase in addiction among Americans after the war because of the close association of American troops with opium in Far Eastern areas.... As long as opium smoking is permitted in the Far Eastern war theatre, it is probable that troops would acquire addiction and that drug smuggling would continue from countries in the Far East to countries in the West, unless some counter action is taken. It was pointed out that the Americans had never allowed the sale of opium in the Philippines and when the Japanese moved in it is not likely that the United States would have gotten the support which it did get from the Filipinos if the United States Government bad been selling the Filipinos opium for a generation as bad been done, for instance, in Far Eastern territories under control of European governments.

At the conclusion of the informal discussions it was apparent that the representatives of the governments present were in agreement as to the final objectives to be reached; viz., total prohibition of opium smoking, and that any differences of opinions expressed concerned only the methods to be applied to attain this objective. It was pointed out that monopolies did not reduce the number of smokers; that international cooperation would be the solution to the problem, and that the production of opium had a bearing on the control of the monopolies.... The belief was expressed that one way of making sure that the narcotic traffic is controlled is to increase the penalties; unfortunately in the areas of the Far East where opium monopolies exist the penalties are low.

The observation was made that in some countries the command might shift from the Americans to the British and that in such event the Americans did not want 2 situation to arise in which some other country would say that opium was in and the Americans would say it was out; therefore, it was desirable that agreements be reached.

As a result of these discussions the United States Government on September 2 1, 1943, addressed an aide-memoire to the British, Netherlands and other interested governments on the subject. On November 10, 1943, as stated above, the British and Netherlands Governments announced their intention to abolish the legalized sale of opium in their Far Eastern territories. [Italics added.]19

The Bureau of Narcotics then went on to say that it was the opinion of the Government of the United States "that the interested governments, acting in concert, can now solve the problem of smoking opium. " The French and Portuguese Governments also accepted the American proposal in 1944.
The italicized portions of this statement are especially interesting as indications of the position taken by the Bureau of Narcotics toward the Dutch and British representatives. The latter were obviously presented with a fait accompli, besides being lectured on the moral and practical superiority of the American system of prohibition. This system was adopted in Hong Kong in 1949. In view of the Bureau's confidence in 1943, that the opium smoking problem "can now be solved," let us look at subsequent developments in Hong Kong.

We have already quoted the present head of the Federal Bureau, Mr. Giordano, to the effect that there are now from 200,000 to 2 50,000 addicts in Hong Kong. (A more common estimate in Hong Kong is 50,000.) It is interesting that these figures were cited by him to discredit the "British system" which he and others say prevails in Hong Kong. As we have seen, the system in use there is actually the American one. In 1943 Mr. Anslinger placed the number of addicts in Hong Kong at around 95,000. Since that time it is true that there has been an enormous influx of refugees and the population has increased by over five hundred per cent. However, investigations in Hong Kong show that while most current addicts were born in China and migrated to Hong Kong, the overwhelming majority of them contracted the habit in Hong Kong.20

When opium smoking was prohibited in 1949, most smokers had been obtaining their supplies from the illicit trade, as has been indicated. After 1949 they continued to do so. Except for the small number of licensed smokers who could afford to pay the high government prices, the 1949 change in policy meant relatively, little. There has never been any close connection between the medical profession and addicts in Hong Kong and the addicts there do not and cannot go to doctors as they do in Britain.

The prohibition of opium smoking has, in a relatively few years, transformed Hong Kong's opium smoking problem into a heroin problem as it has also done throughout the Far East. In 1961, for example, the authorities of the Tai Lam prison for addicts in Hong Kong commented:

The problem is complicated by the fact that, in recent years, attempts by the Hong Kong Government to suppress opium smoking have resulted in traffickers and addicts turning increasingly to heroin, a drug much easier to smuggle and conceal.21

The Federal Bureau of Narcotics has itself reported on the extensive switch to heroin in Hong Kong and the Far East:

Increasing heroin addiction was reported. Heroin now displaces opium consumed by most addicts in Hong Kong and Singapore, where many seizures of small quantities of heroin were made from peddlers and addicts. Macao and Formosa reported increasing heroin traffic. Several clandestine heroin laboratories were seized in the Far East and Middle East....

Large quantities of crude morphine were reported to have been transported from northern Thailand to Lampang and Bangkok and smuggled to Hong Kong, Macao, and Singapore, largely for export, Clandestine manufacture of crude morphine was reported in and near the Shan states of Burma. illicit manufacture of morphine base, crude morphine, and heroin occurred in various parts of the Far East and Middle East, especially South Korea, Hong Kong, Lebanon and Iran. [Italics added.]22

In 1958 there were similar reports:

Steady traffic in crude morphine continued from the north of Thailand through Bangkok to Hong Kong, Singapore, Formosa and surrounding areas. Very large quantities of heroin were illicitly manufactured in the vicinity of Hong Kong, and traffic increased between Hong Kong, Macao, Japan and neighboring areas. Of 15,540 drug offenses in Hong Hong, 1 1,528 involved heroin. [Italics added.]23

It is interesting to observe that virtually all countries named in these statements, both in the Middle and Far East, have prohibition systems, most of them established since the war and some very recently.

The story was the same in 1960:

Extensive traffic in crude morphine continued through Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaya and Taiwan (Formosa). Heavy traffic in heroin occurred through Hong Kong, Macao, Japan, and Taiwan toward North America. Taiwan traced most of its illicit heroin to Communist China. Heroin traffic in the United States, supplied entirely from abroad, came chiefly from Communist China, Hong Kong and Mexico.24
On page 34 of the same report Mr. Anslinger named France, Mexico, Italy, and Hong Kong as the sources of most of the heroin seized in the United States.

Since 1949 the pattern of narcotic law enforcement in Hong Kong has paralleled that in the United States in almost all details. Large numbers of addicts are being arrested and confined in jails and prisons. The illicit traffic is in the hands of organized mobs known as "triads" or "tongs" and leaders of these gangs are rarely apprehended. Enforcement methods seem to be much the same.
The addicts are mainly young males who have acquired the habit in Hong Kong and use heroin by inhalation; the three methods being known as the "ack-ack," "chasing the dragon," and "playing the mouth organ." The first of these involves smoking a cigarette held vertically with heroin on its rip; the second consists of inhaling heroin fumes from tinfoil on which the drug is heated; the third involves inhaling with the aid of a matchbox held to the mouth. The hypodermic method is also coming to be more popular.

Most of the users are from the poorest classes and many of them initially used drugs in connection with such diseases as dysentery, malaria, typhoid, and pulmonary diseases. Even if these users were permitted to receive prescription drugs from physicians they probably would not do so because of costs-the price of illicit heroin is low. In any case, the medical profession in Hong Kong appears to have next to nothing to do with addicts.


The Japanese system of controlling and gradually suppressing the smoking of opium in the island between 1895 and 1938, when the last reports were made on the situation there, appears to have been the most effective system ever devised in the Far East. In a period of about forty years the number of opium smokers, according to the statistical reports issued by the Japanese, was reduced from a total of around 200,000 in 1908 to an estimated total of fewer than twenty thousand. Before the Japanese occupied the island it was estimated that fully one-seventh of the population had acquired the vice. Approximately forty years later opium smokers constituted less than one-half of one per cent of the population.25
Information concerning the operation and effectiveness of the system is available largely from official Japanese reports and there have been critics who claimed that the Japanese misrepresented the situation. Nevertheless, the Japanese claims were largely confirmed by an independent investigation by a League of Nations Commission of Inquiry which visited the island in 1929 and by other observers.
Japanese claims were also confirmed by critics of Japanese opium policies in China and other occupied areas during World II. For example Frederick T. Merrill, in a book published in 1942, refers to the Japanese program in Formosa as follows:

The Japanese have thus demonstrated in their own country and again in Formosa that if they so desire they are capable of curbing opium smoking not only among their own nationals but among those of a subject race.26

A similar assertion can probably not be made of any other country in the Far East. The significance of Merrill's statement is enhanced by the fact that it was published when we were at war with Japan. Merrill concluded that:

If the annual reports to the League of the last five years are accepted, even with reserve, it must be concluded that Japan has done a better job in Formosa than most European governments of Far Eastern colonies.27

He attributed the relative success of the Formosan authorities in curbing the illicit traffic to immigration restriction, strict penalties, and the policy of keeping down the price of government opium.
The other government monopolies existing at that time charged high prices and frequently permitted opium smoking in public divans or dens. The reason given for charging high prices was that it was hoped that this would discourage consumption. It was felt that if government prices were lowered consumption would increase and the habit would spread. The Formosan experience strongly suggests that the habit is spread primarily by the illicit traffic rather than by legal and rationed consumers.
When the Japanese took over Formosa it was at first contemplated that the strict prohibition laws which prevailed in Japan would also be applied to Formosa, but after consideration of the effects upon the large numbers of smokers in Formosa it probable was thought that such measures would create a vast smuggling problem and would work hardship in the island since most of the smokers were farmers or working men with dependents.

Having decided that a prohibition scheme was unworkable in Formosa, the Japanese set up a government opium monopoly.21 Licensed smokers were permitted to buy their supply from government shops at fixed low prices adapted to the income level of the consumers. The opium dispensed in these shops was of good quality, carefully prepared and blended to suit the tastes of smokers and sold in three grades. Licensed smokers were provided with purchase books in which records of amounts dispensed were kept. Rations were established for each smoker after medical examination according to the degree of his addiction and no more than three days' supplies were dispensed at any one time. Smokers who wished to quit their habits had only to announce their intentions and to turn in their purchase books.

The first enumeration in 1900 showed 1 69,064 smokers. Since the initial register was incomplete, licenses were again offered to secret smokers in 1904-5 and in 1908. Approximately 46,000 additional names were added to the original total by these means. Not all of those who applied were granted licenses; some were refused on the ground that they were only occasional smokers and others, usually younger persons, were required to renounce the habit (or to smoke secretly and illegally). Strict penalties were enforced and measures were taken to prevent an influx of smokers from China. In 1910 there were about 1 00,000 registered smokers, or about 3 per cent of the population in contrast to about 6 per cent when the program started.

As would be expected, smokers who were refused licenses continued to smoke illegally and new addicts continued to appear as a consequence of the availability of opium smuggled from nearby China. However, after 1908, no new licenses were granted until 1929 when the registers were again opened. It had been estimated that there were, at that time, in the neighborhood of 15,000 illicit smokers, However, approximately 25,500 new applications were received. Of these, only about 5,500 were actually granted licenses. In the meantime, between about 1900 and 1929 the number of regis tered smokers had declined from about 200,000 to about 27,000 No new licenses were granted after 1929, and in 1938 the number of registered smokers had diminished to approximately 11,000 with an estimated additional 7,000 illegal smokers.

In the meantime, most of these licensed smokers continued to engage in productive labor and to support their families. In 1912 it was reported that 69 per cent of them were married, 19 per cent were widowers or widows and only 10 per cent single. In the same year statistics indicated that 40 percent were engaged in farming, fishing or forestry, 13 per cent in industry, 23 per cent in transportation and commerce, 11 per cent were public officials or in the professions, 9 per cent reported no occupation. About 85 percent of the licensees were males. Japanese officials noted that it was the custom of smokers, when the time came for smoking, to take an interval for it and then resume their work. Only in rare instances did they indulge for long hours. Public opium smoking in dens or divans was forbidden and smoking was done in private.

The Japanese practice of refusing licenses to young smokers is reflected in the fact that by 1924 none of the registered smokers was under thirty years of age. New applicants in 1929 who were under forty were compelled to break their habits and were refused licenses and, since no new applications were accepted thereafter, very few of the registered addicts during this period were less than forty years old. The relatively rapid reduction in the numbers of registered smokers during intervals when no new applications were y the high average age and the accepted is accounted for mainly high mortality rate among the smokers and to a lesser extent by the fact that each year a certain small percentage turned in their purchase books and announced their intention of quitting the habit. Persons who quit were not permitted to re-register.

One of the interest ing and significant consequences of the Japanese Program in Formosa was that it generated reliable statistical data concerning large numbers of addicts. For example, the fact that no new licenses were granted to smokers between 1908 and 1929 made it possible to determine with precision what the mortality rates of the opium smokers at various ages were during this interval. In view of interest in the United States in what is called maturing out," or the tendency for the number of addicts to be extraordinarily small in the upper age groups, there should be some interest in the Formosa data, which arc unique. A study of the matter indicated that death rates for Formosan opium smokers do not differ significantly from those of the general population below the age of forty years.29 After approximately that point, the death rate among the smokers increased more rapidly than that of the general population. The death rates for opium smokers of various age groups compared as follows with corresponding age groups of the general population:

age deaths per 10,000 annually among:


general population
















60 plus



The League of Nations 1930-32 survey indicated that life insurance was sold to opium smokers in most Far Eastern countries, but at higher rates than for other persons.

Japanese awareness of the danger of stimulating an illicit traffic by overcharging addicts was one of the outstanding strong points of the program. As far as registered smokers were concerned, low prices and the standardized good quality supplies made it extremely difficult for smugglers to compete successfully - with the government shops. Prices were sufficiently high (a smoking habit cost, on the average, about 30 to 35 cents a day) to produce a profit, but these revenues represented originally only a very small proportion of the Formosan budget and they declined from year to year. The price of opium was raised slightly to compensate for increased costs of production but no attempt was made to keep opium revenues from declining, and while these profits were used for general budgetary purposes it is obvious that no reliance was placed upon them. In 1938 opium revenues accounted for only 0.83 Per cent of the total budget, one of the lowest percentages in the Far East.

Throughout the period of the operation of this program, smuggling of opium into Formosa from China continued and numerous arrests were reported annually. This illicit traffic supplied the needs of clandestine smokers and also, no doubt, accounted for substantial numbers of new addicts. Strict rationing of registered smokers prevented supplies from the government shops from being diverted from the intended consumers as did the fact that prices charged for smuggled opium were slightly lower than those charged by the government.

Sagatoro Kaku, former Japanese civil governor of Formosa, commented that:

... it became my firm conviction that. although the opium question as such was primarily a question which had sprung up in China, no solution was to be found unless every country which permitted opium smoking set its own house in order.

He then quoted a Japanese proverb:

Do not trouble about the snow which has fallen on your neighbor's garden before clearing away the snow which lies on your own roof.
When Formosa was reoccupied by the Chinese government after World War 11, the new authorities enthusiastically adopted the prohibition system, citing with approval the proposal made by the United States in 1943 that the European powers agree to suppress all addiction to opiates in their Far Eastern possessions completely and immediately As in virtually all of the rest of the Orient, the smokers that remained have frequently switched to manufactured drugs and 2 crop of new heroin and morphine addicts of the usual type has made its appearance. The Republic Of China's report to the U.N. in 1945 included the following:

"As far as could be ascertained in 1945, trade in opium in Southeast Asia was not yet wholly suppressed," which was probably the understatement of that year.31


The Indonesian Government, when independence from the Dutch was achieved after the war, announced that the abuse of opium was to be abolished there in two years. The Dutch had earlier stated that prohibition of opium smoking would be established when the Japanese had been driven out. After 1947, when independence was granted, Indonesian officials made long, detailed reports to the United Nations which were full of enthusiasm and optimism. The old rationing system of the Dutch was temporarily continued but smokers were rapidly switched to medicinal opium (taken orally rather than smoked) and it was then proposed to reduce the rations progressively so that in two years, it was confidently predicted, the evil would be completely and permanently eliminated. Snags at once began to appear in the program. Subsequently, annual reports of the Indonesian Government commented, somewhat plaintively, on the extent of the illicit traffic and on the increased use of heroin and morphine. Foreign nations, especially China, were blamed for the traffic. The reports became less detailed, less voluminous, and more disillusioned. In 1951 it was remarked that:

In view of the meager results obtained in the treatment of addicts in the country, the fight against addiction may be called past hope, and the only hope seems to lie in combating the illicit traffic, for which the cooperation of all countries is required.32

During the
period of Dutch rule the system of control, as previ ously mentioned, Was regarded as a reasonably intelligent and effective one despite the fact that the prices charged addicts were too high and that there was a great deal of smuggling.

Thailand's program up to 1959 was the government monopoly system, with the government licensing opium dens where the users were supposed to smoke, and also selling opium at relatively high prices to the managers of these establishments, who resold it to their customers, to whom opium pipes were also rented. Permits to operate opium smoking establishments were sold by the government to the highest bidder. Most of the smokers in Thailand, as is usual throughout the Far East, were Chinese. Because of the high prices charged by the government, smuggled opium was available at a lower price and was used by proprietors of the dens to cut their costs. The smuggling trade originating from the north was a large one and was reputed to have been, to a considerable extent, in the hands of the police, who were said to be making double profits from the trade by collecting monetary rewards for seizures as well as by direct selling of illicit opium.

Before opium smoking was made illegal in June 1959 it was proposed to cure the estimated 72,000 addicts in something like six months.33 After 1959, reports from Thailand indicate that the illicit traffic has been stimulated. As elsewhere, heroin is rapidly replacing opium. While the narcotics problem has become less visible since the opium establishments were closed and the pipes, opium, and other supplies were burned, addiction is still there. Undoubtedly the profits of the illicit traffic have increased. The police are still said to be deeply involved in it.34

There is anti-Chinese prejudice in both Indonesia and Thailand. In the former this brought about the deportation or expulsion of considerable numbers, which may have eased the narcotics problem. In Thailand the exploitation of opium smokers as a source of government revenue may well have been tolerated because the smokers were mainly from an unpopular minority group. The eventual outlawing of smoking in 1959 was evidently in large measure a response to outside pressure from the United Nations.


Before World War II Japan was invariably cited as one of the few countries of the Far East without a drug problem. Explanations of this strongly resemble those now being offered by American officials of the situation in Britain. Herbert L. May, for example, explained the Japanese situation as follows:

The Japanese are a temperate people, and are accustomed to discipline and obedience to the governmental requirements. The above may serve to explain in part why the Japanese have been singularly free from the evils Of Opium and "drug" addictions.35

Merrill commented upon the absence of opium smoking in Japan and upon the small number of addicted persons in that country:

The reason for this amazing rejection of a habit which has been so prevalent for two centuries in neighboring China lies in the overwhelming pressure of public opinion against opium addiction. [Compare with "British abhorrence of drug taking."] An opium user in Japan is a social outcast. Moreover, the opium problem there has never been one of curing addiction, but of preventing it. Strict prohibition is thus possible, and because Japanese people as 2 whole are extremely law abiding people, preventive efforts are exceedingly effective.36

Since the end of World War 11 heroin addiction has become a serious problem in Japan. The practice of smoking heroin on the tips Of cigarettes is said to have been brought in from the mainland during and after the war. Use by inhalation is usually, quickly followed by intravenous hypodermic injection in the manner customary in the United States. As in the United States, Japanese heroin addicts of today are primarily young urban males who acquired the habit through underworld associations and the quest for kicks.37, It is possible that the problem would have developed in this way after the war regardless of Japanese internal policies, but it is of considerable interest to observe that, as a matter of fact, the United States set up in occupied Japan a system of narcotics control closely modeled after the American. Japanese narcotics squads were organized and trained in American techniques of enforcement, and new legislation was enacted which more or less copied that in the United States. Government reports to the United Nations speak of two types of users in Japan: ( 1 ) older addicts, often doctors, who are relatively few in number and usually use morphine, (2) young heroin addicts from the large cities. Most of the latter now coming to police attention have evidently acquired the habit since the end of the war.

The number of addicts in Japan is estimated at about 40,000 at present.38 Of 1,856 users who came to the attention of the police in 1959 the great majority, 1,358, were under thirty-five years of age. Japan's addicts use heroin by hypodermic injection and secure their supplies from a flourishing illicit market which smuggles drugs to Japan from various places on the continent of Asia, especially Korea, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore. Now and then, drugs which were manufactured in Red China are seized in Japan. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which set up the postwar Japanese program, has remarked on the spread of heroin addiction there:

... Japan, which before the war claimed not one case of drug addiction is now found to have an illicit narcotic traffic equal that in other so called victim countries.39

The Japanese, it appears, have developed a cultural susceptibility to addiction.


Mr. Herbert L. May, an outstanding American authority on conditions in the Far East, who long served as a member of the Permanent Central Opium Board of the United Nations, in 1927 reported on conditions in the Far East to the Executive Board of the Foreign Policy Association. This was during the period of government monopoly. May's comments on these monopolies and on the prohibition system in the Philippines are of special interest. They, were based upon Mr. May's visit to the countries concerned and they conform closely to the more detailed findings of an impartial committee which was sent to this area by the League of Nations during the same period.

Mr. May listed the main methods of control of opium smoking at that time as follows:
1. No restriction on sale, but simply a tax, or customs duty, or both, as in Persia.
2. Government monopoly, "farming out" to individuals, or to licensees, the right to sell all they can. This system is employed in Macao (Portuguese).
3. Government monopoly the government operating its own shops with government employees engaged at 2 fixed salary; in force in British Malaya, Netherlands Fast Indies and -elsewhere. This removes the incentive to push sales,
4. Government monopoly with the smokers registered, licensed and rationed to consume a limited amount, but permitting new names to be added from time to time to the list of registrants, as in some of the Netherlands East Indies. [Also Formosa.]
5. Same as (4) except that the list is closed and that no new names may be added; in effect a sort of limited prohibition applying to all except addicts. This system is in force in some other parts of the Netherlands East Indies. When the addicts are supplied through public hospitals or dispensaries, this becomes an almost complete form of prohibition, with the treatment of addicts considered as medicinal use of prepared opium.
6. Prohibition. There are two classifications which should be recognized -as distinct: Prohibition in 2 district where the vice has never been practiced, and prohibition where it has.40

Noting that prohibition had failed in the Far East Mr. May made the following observation:

... I should say that the "prohibition countries" would gain by a temporary change' to some form of government monopoly, subject to the conditions I am about to describe, particularly regarding profit. Under evaded prohibition they do not know who their -addicts are where their supplies come from or anything about the evil; it is all subterranean. Ay a preparation for real prohibition, the government should have control of the sources and the outlets to enable it properly and progressively to dry up the stream, and to identify or "tag,, the addicts. [Italics in original.] I41

The plan favored by Mr. May as the most practicable one and the one most suited to conditions in Asia was the government monopoly system described earlier (numbers 4 and 5). He suggested that the following conditions be imposed upon the government monopoly:

(1) There should be a clear and unequivocal statement by the government as to policy of administration beneficial to the addicts;
(2) There should be no reliance upon the revenue for general budgetary purposes;
(3) As definite a time or contingency as possible should be fixed when prohibition will take the place of a monopoly;
(4) In the meantime there should be prohibition for non addicts, and addiction (smoking or "drug") should be treated as a medical problem -this involves a registration plan, with registration easy at first and eventually some form of rationing until cure or death.
(5) The monopoly should be under the control of a public welfare, social welfare, or health department and not in a finance department;
(6) To dispense with the revenue, the government could supply addicts at cost (not a good plan), or could use the profits for treatment of addiction, educational and propaganda work, social amelioration for the victims, and preventive social institutions.42

Concerning the prohibition system in the Philippines, Mr. May remarked:

To students of prohibitory laws as a means of bringing a vice under control it will be no surprise to learn that prohibition of opium smoking in the Philippines does not in fact prohibit, Anyone who wishes to buy prepared opium can buy it at a moderate price.43

He then quotes the prevailing illicit prices in Manila for various grades of smuggled opium-from China-and adds;

Frequent arrests and convictions by, the local police and constabulary, and seizures by the customs authorities, must of course have some deterrent effect, and influence the price somewhat; but a comparison of the price with that prevailing in other parts of the Far East would indicate that there is no difficulty in having the supply keep pace with the demand. Opium is not the only thing smuggled in on a considerable scale; there is a "market price" for smuggling in a Chinaman via British North Borneo, and apparently he is privileged to bring in 2 supply of opium with him on his person.44

Reasons given to Mr. May for the failure of prohibition in the Philippines included graft, "some believing that prohibition lam, corrupts officials and others taking a more cynical view." From Hong Kong the following report was made in 1925:

In one case, three mail bags belonging to the USA Post Office were seized in the General Post Office; the whole of the contents proved to be prepared opium and drugs; investigations proved that employees in the General Post Office here and in Manila had been suborned, and that parcel post had been extensively used for the conveyance of prepared opium and drugs. Evidence Was 21SO found pointing to a large trade in morphia pills between Amoy, and Manila and Cebu. Frequent references were found, in documents discovered, to the aid rendered by the employees of the Post Office and Customs in the Islands in aiding the introduction of opium and drugs.45

In other reports Mr. May was told that men in the preventive service of the Philippines were offering to deliver opium to any address in Manila, and that there was a flourishing illegal trade in opium between British North Borneo and the Philippines in which American revenue boats manned by Filipinos participated.

Among the countries with government monopolies, Mr. May noted that the percentages of the total government revenue which were derived from opium sales were as follows:

Dutch East Indies 5%
Straits Settlements 37%
Federated Malay States 14%
Unfederated Malay Stataes 20% to 28%
Sarawak 18%
British North Borneo 23%

Mr. May's evaluation of the mixed system of control in the Dutch East Indies was relatively favorable.

In all of the localities covered except Formosa, the prices charged for government opium were relatively high. As a consequence, the government-monopoly countries also had to contend with a large volume of smuggling, which was frequently estimated to be as large or larger than the volume of the legal trade. In Formosa, where the cost of government opium was low, there was also considerable smuggling; in this case, to supply smokers who were denied licenses. Mr. May remarked that:

Smuggling is the chief obstacle to any form of government control of smoking, but particularly to prohibition because smuggling increases as barriers are raised against the commodity; prohibition where a demand exists is the highest possible barrier. Smuggling, generally speaking, exists where there is overproduction in one country and a demand in another, with a barrier against its satisfaction.46

Elsewhere, commenting on conditions in China, Mr. May observed:

The ideal situation, the world over, for "squeeze" (graft) is just this: a big supply, a big demand, and prohibition law.47

It will be seen from this and the preceding chapter that what appears to be the most effective system of control used in the Western world, that of handling addicts as medical cases and giving them regulated access to legal drugs, is the least common system in the Far East. The punitive-prohibition system, which is used in only a few Western countries, is the one which has been adopted by most Oriental countries. As we have pointed out in the preceding pages, American influence and pressure. especially upon Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Portugal was an important factor in this development. In the Philippines and in Japan the American type program was established directly by the United States. The influence of the United Nations has also been in the same direction, perhaps again because of the weight of American opinion in that body . Thus while the prohibition system has come under increasingly severe attack within the United States, it has been successfully exported to the Far East, where it does not work any better than it does at home.

It is altogether consistent that American narcotic policy in the Far East should be what it is, for this country began to advocate the immediate and complete suppression of opium smoking in the Far East many years before the Harrison Act was passed. In I the early part of the nineteenth century American merchants participated in the opium trade with China, competing unsuccessfully with English firms and the East India Company. It may well be that the subsequently adopted attitude of moral indignation toward the colonial powers of Europe, and the uncompromisingly prohibitionist position taken by American representatives to all of the international conferences, stemmed in part from a realization of the political advantages which these views gave to the United States in Asia.48 Having urged the "corrupt colonial powers" of Europe to suppress opium abuse completely and immediately, the United States could hardly have done anything less when the Philippines were acquired.

The effect of the spread of prohibition in the Far Fast since World War II has been to convert the opium smoking problem into a heroin and morphine problem and to drive it even further underground. The hypodermic method of injection has already become the chief method of use in Japan and is gaining ground elsewhere. The new addicts being recruited are, like those in the United States, young urban males from the slums and from the underworld and its fringes. The Far Eastern narcotics problem, is in short, being Westernized and Americanized. It has been forgotten in Taiwan that the Japanese program in that country between 1895 and World War 11 was the most effective program the Far East has seen. These countries are now sending increasing numbers of officials to the United States to find out how to "cure" addicts and how to cope with the gigantic illicit traffic of the East. In the meantime, Hong Kong is cited as an example of the failure of the "British system" and the spread of heroin addiction in the Far East seems to be viewed as an act of God, or perhaps as part of the inevitable price to be paid for the blessings of Westernization.
One of the reasons for the influence of American opinions in international discussions of narcotics questions is the sheer fact that there are so many more addicts in this country than there are in any other Western nation. Large numbers of addicts means that we also have a proportionately large number of experts with experience that cannot be matched elsewhere in the world. The number of these official experts continues to increase. When their advice is asked for by foreign governments, these officials quite naturally recommend the system with which they are familiar and which they have been taught to regard as the best and even the only possible one. It might seem more logical to pay maximum attention to the control programs in those countries having the fewest addicts, but this evidently happens very rarely since, with a small narcotics problem, there are few officials with expert knowledge or impressive experience to tout the program.

introduction | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

1. See David Edward Owen, British Opium Policy in China and India ("Yale Historical Studies," Vol. VIII [New Haven: Yale Universiry Press, 19341); C. E. Terry and M. Pellens, The Opium Problem, PP- 53-57; Frederick T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations and Foreign Policy Association, 1942), PP- 317.
2. Commission of Enquirv into the Control of Opium Smoking in the Far East~ Report to the Council (3 vols.; Geneva: League of N2tions, 1930-1932 ), I. i i. This will be referred to hereafter as Report on Opium Smoking in the Far East.
3. See U.N. Sumniary, 1959, P- 38.
4. See, e.g., W. W. Willoughby, Opium as an International Problem (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1925), for 2 detailed discussion of the Shanghai and, especialiv, The Hague and Geneva conferences. There is an immense literature on the international attempts to control opium production, much of it very dull or moralistic or both.
5. For a vivid account of the events and conditions leading to the Anglo-Chinese Opium War of 1839141, see Morris Collis, Foreign Mud (New York: Knopf, 1947). Another informative account is that Of David E. Owen already cited.
6. From personal communications with persons who have visited and lived in Hong Kong within the last few years.
7. This is regularly noted in the U.N. Summaries and also by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in its annual reports,
S. The article by P2tya S2ihOO, "The Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand and the Opium Problem," U.N. Bulletin on Narcotics, XV, No. 2 (April-June, 1963), 35-45, gives a description of one of the tribes in the region.
9. F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, P. 5.
ro. See M. Collis, Foreign Mud, pp. 23-28.
11. F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, p. 8.
12. The account of the internal opium policy in China that follows is based on those provided by Owen and Merrill in the works already cited.
13. Detailed description and data concerning Hong Kong's government monopoly program is found in Report on Opium Smoking in the Far East, 11, 3 3 6-8 1
14. Herbert L. May, Survey of Sm;king Opium Conditions in the
Far East: A Report to the Executive Board of the Foreign Policy Associ2tion (New York: Opium Research Committee, Foreign Policy Association, 1927), P. 34.
15. F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, p. 15
16. Report on Opium Smoking in the Far East, 11, 38o.
17. Ibid-, 351-53.
A. Cf. H. L. May, Survey of Smoking Opium Conditions, pp. 49-54,
and F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, pp., 68-7 1.
ig. Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department, Traffic in
Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs for the Year Ended December 31, 1943 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, j9"), PP. 1-3.
2o. General sources of information on the current situation: The
Problem of Narcotic Drugs in Hong Kong: A White Paper Laid before the Legislative Council, iith November 1,959 (Hong Kong Government Publication); "Hong Kong's Prison for Drug Addicts," by authorities of the prison, U.N. Bulletin on Narcotics, XIII, No, i (Jan.March, ig6i), 13-20; Carl C. Gurkzit, "Pharmacological Investigation and Evaluation of the Effects of Combined Barbiturate and Heroin Inhalation by Addicts," U.N. Bulletin on Narcotics, X, NO3 (JulySept., 1958), 8- 1 x; Dr. E. Leong Way, "Treatment and Control of Drug Addiction in Hong Kong," paper read at UCLA drug conference, April 1963, Chapter VII in Narcotics, edited by Daniel M. Wilner; and U.N. Summaries. Also, personal communications with Dr. Albert G. Hess and Professor Ssu-yu Teng, both of whom have recently visited Hong Kong and have done research on the problem there.
21. "Hong Kong's Prison for Drug Addicts," p. 13.
- 2z. Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department, Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs for thi Year Ended December 31, IYY7, PP. 2-3.
2 3. Ibid., for j 958, p. 2.
24. Ibid., for i 96o, p. 2.
z5. On the program in Formosa see: F. T. Merrill, Japan and the
Opium Menace, PP. 79-86; S2gatore Kaku, Opium Policy in Japan (Geneva: Albert Kundig, 1924); Report on Opium Smoking in the Far East, 11, 408-36; H. L. May, Survey of Smoking Opium Conditions, PP- 35-36.
26. F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, P. 79
27. Ibid., p. 86.
28. The account that follows, including the figures, is based primarfly upon the book by Kaku which has been cited, and to 2 lesser extent on Merrill's book and the League of Nations' Report on Opium Smoking in the Far East.
29. Tsungming Tu, "Statistical Studies on the Mortality Rates and the Causes of Death among the Opium Addicts in Formosa," U.N. Bulletin on Narcotics, III, NO. 2 (April, j95 i), (~-i i.
30- U.N. Sunni ary, 1945, P. 13
3 L Ibid.
32- U-N. Suntmary, iq~i, p. 2 1.
3 3. U-N. Summary, 19 59, P- 3 8.
34. From informal reports of visiting Americans and 21so from Thailand officials.
35. H. L. May, Survey of Smoking Opium Conditions, P- 3536. F. T. Merrill, Japan and the Opium Menace, P- 75
37- See the reports of the Japanese government to the U.N. since z949 in U.N. Summaries for the account of postwar developments and the establishment of the American type of control system.
38. U.N. Summary, 19y9, addendum, p. 9
39. Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, 1951, PP. 2-3
40- H. L. May, Survey of Smoking Opium Conditions, p. 9.
41. Ibid., p- io.
41 - Ibid., pp. i o- x i.
43 - Ibid., P. 2 1.
44- Ibid.
45- Ibid., P. 2 7.. 46. Ibid., pp. 6-7
47- Ibid., P. 2 5.
48. Cf. Raymond Leslie Buell, "The Opium Conferences," Foreign Affairs, 3, NO. 4 (July, z925), 567-83, and Albert Wissler, Die Opiumfrage: Ei-ne Studie zur Weltwirtscbaftlichen und Weltpblitischen Lage der Gegenwart (Jena: Fischer, 193 1 )


Our valuable member Alfred Lindesmith has been with us since Sunday, 19 December 2010.

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