“Prior to 1890, laws concerning opiates were strictly imposed on a local city or state-by-state basis. One of the first was in San Francisco in 1875 where it became illegal to smoke opium only in opium dens. It did not ban the sale, import or use otherwise. In the next 25 years different states enacted opium laws ranging from outlawing opium dens altogether to making possession of opium, morphineand heroin without a physician’s prescription illegal.
The first Congressional Act took place in 1890 that levied taxes on morphine and opium. From that time on the Federal Government has had a series of laws and acts directly aimed at opiate use, abuse and control. ”