July 25, 1907


Import of the Measure Is to Require
Prescriptions for Sale of Opium,
Cocaine or Any of Its

"That ordinance is evidently intended to make business for young doctors who have but little practice under the guise of making it impossible for people to buy opium, cocaine or any of its preparations," declared a delegation of druggists that visited the city hall yesterday to protest against the passage of Dr. J. G. Lapp's ordinance regulating the sale of these drugs.

Alderman Lapp, the author of the ordinance, is a physician and in defense of his measure says it is the only way that the sale of opium and cocaine can be checked.

The ordinance provides that no druggist nor pharmacist or any other person shall offer for sale opium or any of its preparations, except upon the written prescription of a regularly licensed practicing physician.

"Should the ordinance become effective," declared a druggist, "it would be impossible for a person in an emergency to get a little laudanum for a sick person without first hunting up a doctor and paying him a dollar to write a prescription. If this isn't an imposition I do not know what else it can be termed. There are other preparations from opium that are a family medicinal necessity, and to ask its users to pay $1 to a doctor every time they want a prescription filled is an outrage."

The ordinance stipulates that no prescriptions for opium or any of its preparations, excepting Dover's powder or paregoric, shall be refilled.

The penalty for a violation of the ordinance is a fine of not less than $1 nor more than $500.

Alderman Lap says that he has been induced to present this ordinance on account of the many evils growing out of the unrestricted sale of opium and its preparations by druggists. He claims that it is not a shaft at the better class of pharmacists, but at those whose principal stock in trade is opium and cocaine, and who make a pretense of conducting drug stores. He feels, he says, that no legitimate druggist would be in any wise injured by the enforcement of the ordinance. The doctor may yet amend the ordinance so as not to prohibit the sale of laudanum in small quantities without a written prescription.

The druggists also call attention to the fact that there are many patent medicines that contain opium or the preparations thereof, and they represent that if the Lapp ordinance becomes a law they will be prevented from selling these medicines without a prescription.