When it comes to drugs, I think the more people know about the laws that are in effect for them, the better. People need to know why the government has these laws in place. Unfortunately in the case for marijuana the government only has it banned due to the fact that it would be hard for them to control, but if people know the laws, maybe someone can think up a way for the government to have better control over narcotics and be able to make some of the less harmful ones legal. If a drug like marijuana has more beneficial uses, there is no reason why it should not be legalized. The only time any type of drug should be illegal is if it has more negative side effects than positive. By students understanding the history behind the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, some of these current laws could be reformed or eradicated. Unfortunately, the government is in control of what our children learn in school and do not want them to know the reasoning behind their decisions. They want to keep people ignorant and in the dark so that we cannot question their decisions.
Believer it or not, there still exists a law from way back when, that states the IRS can issue stamps for drugs (marijuana) and that the drug can then be free of IRS fines. Someone could still be prosecuted by the federal government and/or local authorities, but he/she would be safe from IRS fines. Look it up. It's still on the books!
Even though the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act involves educating children of drugs, I believe that any part of history should be taught to the public. George Santana stated "those who forgot the past, repeat it." If we do not educate our children on the past, then I believe our future is looking pretty bad.
Regardless of what side you are on in regards to drugs this is an important point in history. For the first time in US history some drugs were effectively made illegal. Although it was passed as a tax act they sneakily made it next to impossible to obtain a tax stamp and it became more and more impossible. They should also mention the law in 1937 that banned marijuana and the 1971 Drug Control Act. All this should be mentioned as well as the backgrounds around the policies including motivations including racist motivations as well as previous laws passed in towns such as the one in San Francisco that banned opium-smoking but allowed laudunum a drink mixed with alcohol and opium because the former was popular with Asian minorities and the latter with white people. Supporters and opponents of these laws should be mentioned as well as their motivations and their interests such as William Randolph Hearst's economic interests against hemp being a commodity because it threatened his company.