Story: Drugs

Anti-opium petition

This petition from G. W. Moy, an Auckland Chinese market gardener, and 34 other Chinese people was presented to Parliament in 1901. Like other petitions from the Chinese community at that time it noted that opium-smoking was morally and physically degrading, and that while it was a habit largely confined to the Chinese community, the petition warned it was also spreading to the 'European youths of the colony'. The campaign against opium-smoking was very much an initiative of the Chinese themselves who sought to reform and improve their own people, but they did play on fears that other people might become infected with the addiction. Parliament quickly responded with an act prohibiting the smoking of opium and the importation of the drug in a form suitable for smoking.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: LE1 378 1901/7

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Drugs - Restricting drugs, 1866 to 1965', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 September 2021)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013