skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 229059 Find in a Library
Title: Century of International Drug Control
Corporate Author: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Ctr
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 104
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna, A-1400, Austria
United Nations Publications
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: United Nations Publications
1st Avenue and 46th Street
Concourse Level
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Austria
Annotation: This report, which is an extended version of Chapter 2 of the World Drug Report 2008, reviews the history of psychoactive substance use, trafficking, and control internationally before and after the establishment of an international drug control system, which encompasses the period 1909-2009.
Abstract: Nearly 100 years ago, the international community met in Shanghai to discuss the single largest drug problem the world has experienced, i.e., the Chinese opium epidemic. Prior to the 1909 Shanghai Opium Commission, national governments and state-sponsored monopolies had an active role in selling opium across national borders. The profits were enormous. Even a country the size of British India derived 14 percent of state income from its opium monopoly in 1880. The first international drug convention, the International Opium Convention of The Hague, was signed in 1912 and entered into force in 1915. This convention was designed to curb shipments of narcotic drugs that were not meant to be used for medical purposes. As of 1920, international drug control became part of the responsibilities assumed by the League of Nations. Three main conventions were developed in 1925, 1931, and 1936, which provided the foundation for the practical operations of the international drug control system. Significant progress occurred in curtailing the licit trade in narcotic drugs during this period. Following World War II, multilateral drug control came under the auspices of the United Nations. A number of protocols for improving the control system were established and signed, with the most far-reaching being the 1953 Opium Protocol. The international drug control efforts aimed at limiting the licit international trade in narcotic drugs to medical requirements. Controls were then expanded to cover manufacture and production of drugs and then trafficking in drugs in the late 1930s. Achievements and unintended consequences of the international drug control system are discussed. Extensive tables and figures and 358 notes
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug abuse in foreign countries; Drug law offenses; Drug laws; International agreements; International cooperation; International drug law enforcement; International organizations
Note: Downloaded December 2009
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.