Narcotic Act of 1914, which regulated the sale, distribution, and possession of narcotics, was later strengthened by the Narcotic Drug Import and Export Act of 1922.
As discussed by Courtwright (1992), the period from the 1920s through the mid-1960s was characterized by a rigid, strict, and punitive approach toward dealers and users. The drug control policy of that era was, in many ways, a reflection of the drug addiction philosophy of Harry Jacob Anslinger, who was commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics from its creation in 1930 until 1962. It was during this period that various states passed legislation to regulate the sale, distribution, and possession of drug paraphernalia (Pascal, 1988). These statutes generally prohibited the possession of any paraphernalia intended for the use of any narcotic drugs, and some required a prescription for the purchase of syringes. The primary difference between these two types of laws was that paraphernalia laws required a demonstration of criminal intent, whereas prescription laws did not—a distinction that still is reflected in the latest versions of those statutes.
The mid-1960s through late 1970s were characterized by a relaxation of the strict policing of the drug user and the pursuit of new treatment avenues (e.g., methadone maintenance). During the Reagan and Bush administrations, there was a resurgence of the strict law enforcement approach to drug control strategy, with a strong emphasis on supply reduction rather than demand reduction. The get-tough approach of the time is evident from the language contained in two antidrug bills (1986 and 1988) passed by Congress, which contained substantial civil penalties for personal use and possession. Public statements from Robert Martinez, President Bush's director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, also reflect the strict and punitive approach of that administration (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1992).
Although this nation has gone through different periods of government involvement and control over drug use, the dominant approach during the twentieth century clearly has been that of restrictive drug control policies, which has resulted in a substantial number of federal, state, and local laws that attempt to restrict the sale, distribution, and possession of drugs. Moreover, in their attempt to regulate and curtail illicit drug use, legislators have enacted statutes whose goals are to restrict indirectly the use of illicit drugs. That is, they have passed criminal laws restricting the sale, distribution, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The primary intent of these criminal laws seems to have been to impact drug use by restricting and limiting the purchase of drug instrumentation and devices that facilitate drug use itself. For example, concerns regarding the sale of marijuana and other cannabinoids paraphernalia in ''head shops" led to the enactment of many local and state drug paraphernalia laws (American Civil Liberties Union, 1994). An obvious secondary intent was to prevent