Since this blog is supposed to be about drug history, and since I've been woefully negligent in "blogging," I figured I'd take the opportunity to turn it, however, temporarily, into a teaching resource. In the next few weeks I'm going to post or link to useful resources on the history of drugs, both in Canada… Continue reading Drug history resources for an uncertain future
After several decades of working on this (ok, worked on it in the 90s then took some time away) my book, When Good Drugs Go Bad: Opium, Medicine, and the Origins of Canada's Drug Laws has been released. You can order a copy of the hardcover here. And for reference, here is a picture of… Continue reading Good drugs and their bad tendencies
Smoking is considered a pariah activity. Smokers, driven by "Clean Air" laws, zealous public health advocates and self righteous non smokers do their thing on the edge of activity. Back doors, 9 metres away from doors, unsheltered, cowering, hiding, heads down, grimaced. This is how health messaging becomes moral shaming. I'm not a smoker, find… Continue reading No need to smoke em if you got em
Two more states voted for various forms of cannabis legalization. The District of Columbia also voted to permit marijuana possession. Several municipalities in New England passed similar initiatives. These are big deals. How they will play out in Canada (if at all) is a good topic of debate. I spoke to Yahoo News about this,… Continue reading Media II: the morning after the referenda
There is a lot of attention to the issue of legalization of marijuana. So I wrote a little op-ed. It was published today. I have to say the editors came up with a much better title than I had given it. It was so forgettable, I forget my title. How to legalize pot? We figured… Continue reading Cannabis legalization in the media
Before I begin, a little Shakespeare tutorial. When Juliet says "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" she's not asking "where are you?" but "why are you?" In other words, "why are you a Montague?" Her concern was, of course, that he was the child of her family's arch enemies. I say that because I'm being snooty humanities… Continue reading Wherefore medical history
So I've been a little lax on updates and am trying to catch up. this post is actually about something I found in Saskatchewan in autumn 2012. But some background. My research has involved a lot of digging through pharmacy records. I've done some detailed data collection of records from pharmacies in Ontario, Alberta, and… Continue reading Ask and you shall receive; seek and ye shall find.
So those upstart pharmacists and nurse practitioners want to edge in on doctors' business! Recently, across the country, various health practitioners have been seeking to expand their scope of practice. This is the legally defined range of activities they are allowed do. In the health system, especially, it is a highly contentious issue. Because unlike… Continue reading Whose control is it, anyway?
I was at a conference in London on drug and alcohol history. I go to these quite a bit. But this time they caught me on video. To avoid seeming entirely self-promoting, I encourage you to follow the links to other interesting presentations at that conference. And just in case you're wondering, the "James" to… Continue reading Big thinking in London
Once in a while we need to get off our butts and get to the archives. I was in the University of Toronto's Robarts Library yesterday and had the blissful feeling of going through actual real documents, coming out covered with the detritus of over 100 years of deteriorating paper, glue and leather bindings. But… Continue reading Finding historical newspapers and their locations