March 3, 1905: Congress enacts its first anti-drug law, banning opium smoking in the occupied Philippines.
March 4, 1992: The Bush administration terminates the federal government's Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) medical marijuana program, leaving only a handful of patient already receiving marijuana enrolled. The remainder of applicants, including many already approved, are denied participation.
March 5, 1995: BBC airs a live debate from London on medical marijuana, including Dr. Lester Grinspoon, one of the world's leading medical marijuana authorities. Over 137,000 phone calls are received in less than half an hour, 90% of them affirmative.
March 8, 1973: The US Coast Guard conducts its first Coast Guard-controlled seizure, when the USCGC Dauntless boards a 38-foot sports fisherman boat, the Big L, arresting its master and crew with more than a ton of marijuana on board.
March 9, 1982: The largest cocaine seizure ever to date raises US awareness of the Medellin cartel -- 3,906 pounds of cocaine, valued at over $100 million wholesale, from a Miami International Airport hanger. Officials realize Colombian traffickers must be working together because no single trafficker could be behind a shipment that large.
March 9, 2001: William J. Allegro, 32, of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, is sentenced to 50 years in prison for growing marijuana in his home. "The court imposed this sentence because the court felt obligated to do so under the law," says Judge Paul F. Chaiet, a former prosecutor. "Mandatory sentencing provisions can create difficult results. In the court's view, this is one of those times where the ultimate results are difficult to accept."
March 10, 1839: Lin Tse-hsü, governor of the Chinese province of Hu-Huang, proclaims that the opium trade will no longer be tolerated in Canton, and begins arresting known opium dealers in the local schools and naval barracks. Those found guilty of purchasing, possessing or selling opium are sentenced to public execution by strangulation. "Let no one think," Lin proclaimed, "that this is only a temporary effort on behalf of the Emperor. We will persist until the job is finished."
March 10, 1984: DEA and Colombian police discover Tranquilandia, a laboratory operation deep in the Colombian jungle. In a subsequent bust, law enforcement officials destroy 14 laboratory complexes, containing 13.8 metric tons of cocaine, seven airplanes, and 11,800 drums of chemicals, conservatively estimated at $1.2 billion. The bust confirms the consolidation of the Medellin cartel's manufacturing operation.
March 10, 2004: In a Washington Post article, "Obesity Passing Smoking as Top Avoidable Cause of Death," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, when asked about unhealthy foods, answers, "I don't want to start banning things... Prohibition has never worked."