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"Its baneful influences are too well known": debates over drug use in Canada, 1867-1908 (1997)

"Its baneful influences are too well known": debates over drug use in Canada, 1867-1908 (1997)

  1. Jatelka
    Can Bull Med Hist. 1997;14(2):263-88

    Malleck DJ.

    This article examines the debates about drug addiction, as presented by medical and non-medical reformers in Victorian Canada, to explain the emergence of anti-narcotic legislation in the early twentieth century. Most of the studies of drug prohibition in Canada emphasize the anti-Chinese issues surrounding the drafting of the 1908 Opium Act. This study asserts that in order to understand why parliament unanimously accepted this legislation, we must look beyond the issue of anti-Chinese sentiment. It explores the discussions of drug addiction rhetoric. It concludes that the concern over both addiction in Canada and the Chinese in Canada drew upon parallel issues of freedom versus slavery, racial purity, and the need to protect the integrity of a moral and strong nation.


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