Nearly 100 years ago, the international community met in Shanghai to discuss the single largest drug problem the world has ever known: the Chinese opium epidemic. Prior to the 1909 Shanghai Opium Commission, national governments and state-sponsored monopolies played an active role in peddling opium across borders. The profits to be made were enormous, generating as much as half of the national revenues of some island states serving as redistribution centres. Even a country the size of British India derived 14% of state income from its opium monopoly in 1880.

Related Subject(s): Drugs Crime and Terrorism
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