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November 23, 1940

Current Comment

JAMA. 1940;115(21):1805. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810470049016

NARCOTIC PEDLERS IMPOSE ON PHYSICIANS' WIDOWS  From the Bureau of Narcotics in Washington comes a warning from the Commissioner, Mr. H. J. Anslinger, which should be widely disseminated among physicians and their families. Illicit traffickers in narcotics have in some instances recently developed a technic with which they were able to swindle either the widows or members of the families of physicians who had recently died. Apparently these pedlers watched the daily papers for the notices of deaths of physicians. Shortly after the publication of such a notice of death the trafficker appeared and represented himself to be "a narcotic appraiser," stating that he represented a federal agency and seeking to induce the survivors of the physician to turn over to him whatever narcotics might be found among the effects of the deceased. Thus far attempts have been made only on the families of physicians. It seems probable, however, that