Opium was widely used for medicinal purposes in 19th-century New Zealand, but it came to be seen as a dangerous and addictive drug. Its use was strictly regulated from the early 20th century. This permit was issued under the Opium Prohibition Act 1901, which made it unlawful to import opium for the purposes of smoking it. Chemist George Mee would have kept a register which recorded the amount and form of opium imported, what it was made into and to whom he sold it.
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Alexander Turnbull Library, E. Plummer Collection
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