This Week in History

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April 1, 1909: The Opium Exclusion Act takes effect.

April 3, 1953: With the support of Allen W. Dulles, director of Central Intelligence, Richard C. Helms proposes funding for a biochemical warfare research program named MKULTRA, which among other things administers LSD to its unknowing participants.

March 30, 1961: The UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is convened in New York City, the first of the three international treaties binding signatory nations into prohibitionist systems.

April 2, 1988: The Economist editorializes in favor of bringing drug users within the law by allowing them to purchase limited doses of drugs that have been manufactured and distributed legally.

March 30, 1992: Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign, says, "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale."

March 29, 2000: CNN reports that a multi-nation drug sweep known as Operation Conquistador nets 2,331 arrests, 4,966 kilograms of cocaine, 55.6 kilograms of heroin, and 362.5 metric tons of marijuana. The 17-day operation takes place in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin, British Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Aruba, Curacao, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Drug availability is not reduced in the operation's wake.

April 1, 2000: Canada's premier national newspaper, The National Post, editorializes in favor of legalizing marijuana.

March 31, 2001: An editorial in The Lancet -- the United Kingdom's top medical journal -- criticizes the futility of drug prohibition and America's present anti-drug strategies.

April 2, 2003: US Rep. Ron Paul asks the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate whether the Office of National Drug Control Policy violated the Congressional ban on spending funds on publicity or propaganda.

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