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When Did Recreational Drugs Emerge
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11:59, 12 January 2019
How Recent Trends Differed from the Past
==How Recent Trends Differed from the Past==
While opium and marijuana are native to the Old World, tobacco was the major drug of choice that became traded between the New and Old World. It was instantly popular already by the 16th century in Europe, when clay pipes began to be created so it can be smoked all across Europe. On the other hand, opium and marijuana only became illegal drugs across parts of the Old World in the 19th century. Napolean, during his invasion of Egypt, became concerned his troops were drinking cannabis mixed in drinks as well as smoking it. Morphine, which is derived from the same opium poppies, was also developed in the 19th century as a medical product in Germany. Heroin was similarly derived in Europe in the 19th century by an English chemist and then developed into a medicinal drug by the drug company Bayer Pharmaceutical Company in the 1890s. In the 1860s, cocaine was derived from cocoa by a German chemist, where it similarly began to be used in medicine and recreationally. Additionally, it was used in the soft drink Coca Cola, which gave it its name.
The trade in opium continued to increase throughout much of the 19th century, particularly from China. Opium was being exported to China from India, where it was also commercially grown. This Chinese had banned opium by this point but the British East India Company began to trade it to China illegally through the port of Canton. This led to the Chinese government to confiscate the opium from Canton but led to conflict with Britian, launching the so-called First Opium War that led to the take over of Hong Kong and other Chinese ports. Throughout the 19th century, opium was widely traded despite its ban in a few countries. In the West, it was legal and often used to derive various drugs such as morphine and heroin. It was only in 1912 that opium became banned under the International Opium Convention. Similarly, in the 1920s was an era where other drugs increasingly became banned, such as marijuana.
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