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March 20, 1915


Author Affiliations

Gum Spring, Va.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(12):1017. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570380065028

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To the Editor:  —I have been surprised to observe that among so many inquiries about the new Harrison law there have been but few adverse criticisms, although it is justly liable to adverse criticism.1. The law is an usurpation by Congress of the police power of the states. The right of Congress to impose a revenue tax on any article is admitted, but in the case of narcotics the Congress assumes authority to regulate use, distribution and sale. If it is competent for the Congress to regulate the sale and distribution of one drug or one group of drugs, why not of another, and why not of all? If these premises be admitted, it is not apparent why the Congress may not assume the enactment of general medical practice laws and complete the federal usurpation of state authority.2. The necessary blanks for ordering supplies of the listed drugs

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