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July 1, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVII(1):28-29. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260070032017

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RESTRICTION OF THE SALE OF HABIT-FORMING DRUGS  The Boylan bill to prohibit the sale of hypodermic syringes or needles at retail without an order from a physician or veterinary, which passed the New York legislature some time ago, has been signed by the governor and is now a law. This measure is an effort on the part of the State of New York to control the growing use of morphin and cocain. Commenting on this bill the Outlook said editorially: "It seems incredible that there should be objection on the part of any intelligent person to the passage of such a measure. . . . It is beyond doubt that the availability of the hypodermic syringe has been as much a factor in the wide-spread use of morphin, cocain, etc., as the availability of the drugs themselves and that the vast majority of hypodermic syringes and needles are used to give morphin and cocain in a harmful way. The objection is made that drug fiends could easily obtain syringes and needles through the mails from druggists in another state. This is perfectly true and is, of course, the weak point in all state legislation designed to control the use of habit-forming drugs and instruments for their injection. If New York State will lead the way in this reform, however, there is little doubt that other states will follow so good an example. At all events, the lower grade of drug and department stores of New York and elsewhere would be deprived of ane of their activities.

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