In the United States, the right to employ narcotic drugs in the treatment of disease is evidenced primarily, not by licenses granted by the federal government but by licenses granted by the states, territories and insular possessions, and by the District of Columbia and the Canal Zone, where the narcotic drugs are to be used. These are the licenses that authorize, in the several jurisdictions named, the practice of medicine, of dentistry and of veterinary medicine. Authority so to practice carries with it conditional authority to employ narcotic drugs in the course of such practice. In some of the jurisdictions named, licenses to practice osteopathy confer on osteopaths similar conditional authority to employ narcotic drugs in the course of osteopathic treatment. The exercise of that authority is conditioned in all cases on compliance with the laws that specifically govern the use of narcotic drugs, commonly referred to as "narcotic laws."
WOODWARD WC. THE INDISPENSABLE USES OF NARCOTICS: PROFESSIONAL USE OF OPIUM AND COCA LEAVES, THEIR DERIVATIVES AND PREPARATIONS, UNDER HARRISON NARCOTIC ACT. JAMA. 1931;96(21):1771–1776. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.27220470006009a
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