10 Illegal Drugs That Were Once Legal

Oh baby, baby… it is a very wild world.  More wild, in fact, than it was when Cat Stevens first sang about it in 1970.  One way in which this wildness is manifested is the increased use of drugs and prevalence of substance addiction, an issue brought to light by shows like “Intervention” and people like Nicole Richie.  It’s enough to make one long for simpler times when men wore hats, ladies blushed, and people didn’t need such elaborate chemical compounds to have fun on a Friday night.

But if we look a little closer, the days of yore might not be quite so innocent as they seem.  Maybe raves weren’t as popular back then as they are today, but people were popping, drinking, smoking and snorting many of the same delightful substances that fill Lindsay Lohan’s purse today!  Stranger still… these substances used to be legal, making our so-called modern age look like a prudish and puritanical version of the past.  How did our Great Great Grandmothers and Grandfathers get away with it?  Often the answer was as simple as marketing: call the drugs medicine.


Meth, according to almost anyone you ask, is a dangerous drug.  In addition to increasing energy and giving you an emotional jolt before you head to an all night orgy set to songs by Robyn, it is devastatingly addictive and is known to lead to bad choices in haircut, tooth loss, and psychosis.  Messing with Meth is simply not the same as smoking a doobie behind the Junior High — and almost 100% of addicts say they were tragically hooked the very first time they tried it.

All the same, there was a time when this toxin was not only legal but was available at your local Duane Reade… or whatever pharmacy people were going to in the nineteenth century.  Norodin (a brand name for Meth) was prescribed for people with light depression… presumably to turn it into heavy depression once a full blown chemical addiction kicked in.  Still, it was said that Norodin was just the thing for dispelling “the shadows of mild mental depression.” One in five doctors recommend Meth?  Now there’s a reason to get happy!