The United States has an intricate series of drug laws and corresponding enforcement practices. The Federal and State Legislative administrations in respect to illegal drugs have common characteristics and even appear to be in conflict at times.
The Harrison Act was a considerable development in the US drug policy. Earlier legislations in 1909 had constrained the import of opium in agreement with the International Conventions against the use of the drug. The Harrison Act was passed in 1914.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Harrison Act as a revenue act and not a policing measure and was held that the Act did not authorize physicians to prescribe drugs to addicts to keep them physically relaxing or maintain their addiction.
In 1970 the U.S. Congress introduced the Federal Controlled Substances Act pursuant to which repealed most of the earlier federal legislation, including the Harrison Act and is the foundation of U.S. federal drug law even today.
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and the Anti-Drug Abuse Amendment Act of 1988 imposed stringent federal penalties for drug-related offences. The National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 created the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Director of the Office of the National Drug Control is also referred to as the “Drug Czar”.