(d) Although they were selling them over the counter at the turn of the century
(e) Although they were sold over the counter at the turn of the century
I spot from the meaning of the sentence. The selling over the counter of Cocaine is already ended. This sentece emphasizes the result not the process of selling. So we should use the past simple tense. And dont be confused with "NOW" in the sentence because it's different the period of time.
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