1930 – 1967General References to Anslinger
The History of the Marijuana Laws in the United States by Charles Whitebread – A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference An excellent, and funny history of how we got our current drug laws.
The Forbidden Fruit and the Tree of Knowledge: An Inquiry into the Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition by Professor Richard J. Bonnie & Professor Charles H. Whitebread, II — The first major study ever done of the legal history of the marihuana laws.
The History of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 by David F. Musto, MD
From the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972
· History of Marihuana Legislation
From The Marihuana Tax Act Page
· Conference on Cannabis Sativa L. January 14, 1937 — Room 81 Treasury Building, 10:30 AM
· Statement of H. J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics, Bureau of Narcotics, Department of the Treasury.
· Additional statement of H. J. Anslinger (includes “Marihuana as a Developer of Criminals”, by Eugene Stanley, district attorney, parish of Orleans, New Orleans, La.)
· Statement of H. J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics, Bureau of Narcotics of the Treasury Department
· Marihuana Conference of 1938
Correspondence about the legal status of hemp 1930 – 1938
· Letter from Harry Anslinger – September 29, 1936
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – September 30, 1936
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – October 6, 1936
· Letter from Harry Anslinger – November 2, 1936
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – November 3, 1936
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – November 5, 1936
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – November 6, 1936
· Report of the Marihuana Investigation – Summer, 1937
· Letter from H. W. Bellrose, October 12, 1937
· Letter from H. W. Bellrose – October 12, 1937
· Letter from H. W. Bellrose – October 14, 1937
· Letter from Brien McMahon – October 26, 1937
· Letter from Will S. Wood – November 6, 1937
· Letter from Frank Ridgway – January 21, 1938
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – March 5, 1938
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – March 5, 1938
· Letter from Elizabeth Bass – March 10, 1938
· Report of Survey Commercialized Hemp Crop (1934-35 Crop) in the State of Minnesota, by H.T. Nugent, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Field Supervisor, October 22, 1938
Hemp Around Their Necks — Chapter 3 of Harry Anslinger’s 1961 book “The Murderers”. – Among other things he tells how the La Guardia Committee Report gave children a signal to light up as many reefers as they want.
STATEMENT OF H. J. ANSLINGER,
COMMISSIONER OF NARCOTICS, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT
MR. ANSLINGER: Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, we are having a great deal of difficulty. Last year there were 338 seizures of marihuana in some 31 states involving several hundred tons of growing plants, bulk marihuana, and cigarettes.
The states are asking for our help. We are trying to give it to them, but we are rather limited in our ability at the present time.
I have made a statement before the Ways and Means Committee, which is in the record, but since that time I want to point out to the committee an incident which occurred on June 28, at Abingdon, Va. There was a marihuana farm at that point, and the man who was growing those plants had been connected with a family that was engaged in smuggling narcotic drugs into Atlanta penitentiary some years ago. When we heard Dewey Doss was engaged in the production of marihuana, we went after him, and we got the state officers to make a case against him. We could not do anything about that, although the information came to us first.
A month or so ago, down in Texas, a man was arrested on a Missouri Pacific train going north with a quantity of cannabis, and another man was arrested in the vicinity of this place, called Raymondsville, Texas. They had both stripped the plants on a hemp farm.
SENATOR BROWN: You mean they had taken the leaves off?
MR. ANSLINGER: They had taken the leaves off and the flowering tops.
I received this letter from an attorney at Houston, Texas, just the other day. This case involves a murder in which he alleges that his client, a boy 19 years old, had been addicted to the use of marihuana.
SENATOR BROWN: Shall we read this into the record?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir; I shall be very glad if you will.
(The letter is as follows:)
Houston, Tex., July 7, 1937
H. J. Anslinger
United States Commissioner of Narcotics
Your article on Marihuana appearing in the July issue of the American is very useful as well as interesting.
this subject strikes close to home because of a client II have who not so long ago murdered in a brutal way a man who had befriended him in giving him a ride. This client is a boy 20 years of age and he explained to me he has been smoking marihuana for several years. I would like to have about 1 copies of your article and will gladly pay any necessary charges. I would appreciate an early reply.
MR. ANSLINGER: I have another letter from the prosecutor at a place in New Jersey.
It is as follows:
The Interstate Commission on Crime
March 18, 1937
Charles Schwarz, Washington, DC
My Dear Mr. Schwarz:
That I fully appreciate the need for action, you may judge from the fact that last January I tried a murder case for several days, of a particularly brutal character in which one colored young man killed another, literally smashing his face and head to a pulp, as the enclosed photograph demonstrates. One of the defenses was that the defendant’s intellect was so prostrated from his smoking marihuana cigarettes that he did not know what he was doing. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a long term of years. I am convinced that marihuana had been indulged in, that the smoking had occurred, and the brutality of the murder was accounted for by the narcotic, though the defendant’s intellect had not been totally prostrate, so the verdict was legally correct. It seems to me that this instance might be of value to you in your campaign.
Mr. Hartshorne is a member of the Interstate Commission on Crime. We have many cases of this kind.
SENATOR BROWN: It affects them that way?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes.
SENATOR DAVIS: (viewing a photograph presented by Mr. Anslinger) Was there in this case a blood or skin disease caused by marihuana?
MR. ANSLINGER: No; this is a photograph of the murdered man, Senator. It shows the fury of the murderer.
SENATOR BROWN: That is terrible.
MR. ANSLINGER: That is one of the worst cases that has come to my attention, and it is to show you its relation to crime that I am putting those two letters in the record.
SENATOR BROWN: The first letter is also very interesting.
MR. ANSLINGER: This first letter was from an attorney at Houston. In June of this year, at Geneva, an international committee of experts in going over the reports received from all over the world said that the reports thus far indicate that the medical value of cannabis derivatives is very doubtful. There is another report here from Dr. Paul Nicholas Leech.
SENATOR BROWN: That is, to make perfectly clear, its medical value is not very great, and there are many other drugs that may be used in place of it that are fully as good if not better?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir; it is not indispensable.
SENATOR BROWN: I think some medical men say that if we had no such drug at all the medical profession would not be very greatly handicapped. That is, medical science would not be very greatly handicapped.
MR. ANSLINGER: I think they are pretty generally in agreement that its use could be abandoned without any suffering.
I have a few cases here that I would like to tell the committee about. In Alamosa, Colorado, they seem to be having a lot of difficulty. The citizens petitioned Congress for help, in addition to the help that is given them under state law. In Kansas and New Mexico also we have had a great deal of trouble.
Here is a typical illustration: A 15-year-old boy, found mentally deranged from smoking marihuana cigarettes, furnished enough information to police officers to lead to the seizure of 15 pounds of marihuana. That was seized in a garage in an Ohio town. These boys had been getting marihuana at a playground, and the supervisors there had been peddling it to children, but they got rather alarmed when they saw these boys were developing the habit, and particularly when this boy began to go insane.
In Florida some years ago we had the case of a 20-year-old boy who killed his brothers, a sister, and his parents while under the influence of marihuana.
Recently, in Ohio, there was a gang of very young men, all under 20 years of age, every one of whom had confessed that they had committed some 38 holdups while under the influence of the drug.
In another place in Ohio, a young man shot the hotel clerk while trying to hold him up. His defense was that he was under the influence of marihuana.
SENATOR BROWN: When a person smokes the cigarette, how long does the influence of the drug continue?
MR. ANSLINGER: From reports coming to me, I think it might last as long as 48 hours before the effects of the drug fully wear off.
SENATOR BROWN: I do not know whether it was your article I read, or an article from some other source, but I understand that experiments have been conducted, in which the persons smoking the marihuana have been kept under control after taking the drug. Do you know whether or not that demonstrated how long the effect would be felt?
MR. ANLSINGER: As I remember it, the effects in those cases were something like 48 hours, before they fully returned to their normal senses.
Here is a case in Baltimore, where a young man committed rape while under the influence of marihuana. He was hanged for it. Last fall, about September, we uncovered a field of several acres, growing right outside the city limits of Baltimore. Those men were selling it to New York, sending it all over the country, at $20 a pound.
SENATOR DAVIS: And how many pounds to the acre?
MR. ANSLINGER: That would depend, Senator. If they just took the flowering tops the yield would not be so big, but some of them strip off the leaves and the flowering tops and grind them up.
SENATOR DAVIS: Do the leaves have the same effect as the flowering tops?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir; one of the Treasury’s chemists is here who can verify that, sir. It has been proved by experts in other countries who have analyzed the leaves. They find that the resin is also present in the leaf. Our experiments have not shown the presence of any drug in the mature stalks, though. A one time we thought that the dangerous principle was only in the flowering top, but that is not true. What led us to the study as to whether there was resin in the leaves was the fact that we had seen so much of this stuff rolled up. In some cases only the leaves had been crushed, and they seemed to be giving the effect. In New Mexico, officers sent us about 4 or 5 pounds of nothing but leaves, and some of that particular shipment had been the cause of the killing of a police officer, and also the killing of a man within the ring. Every day we have such seizures, reports.
SENATOR BROWN: Is the cigarette that is made form the flowering top more potent than the one made from the leaves?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir, it would be, because the tops have the resin concentrated.
SENATOR BROWN: Do I understand that the seed is ground up, too. and used to any extent?
MR. ANSLINGER: Well, we have heard of them smoking the seed..
SENATOR BROWN: Does it produce the same effect?
MR. ANSLINGER: I am not qualified to say. We have not made any experiments as to that, but we do know that the seed has been smoked. I think that the proposition of the seed people sterilizing the seed by heat and moisture will certainly do a lot to kill this traffic. I think that that one thing might cut this traffic in half, because much of the trouble we encounter is due to the trafficker going to a feed store and buying the birdseed and planting cannabis, and all due to the birdseed being scattered during the winter. Hempseed is thrown out in the garden or in the vacant lot. The following year you have a growth of cannabis. That is what happened in Baltimore, and particularly in Philadelphia. I know of a case there where the State officers got over 200,000 pounds of growing plants, as the result of dissemination by birdseeds. A lot of that growth was being used illicitly. The traffickers knew where to get it. The plant reseeded itself.
The action that will be taken under this bill by the birdseed people in sterilizing the seed should have a remarkable effect in killing the traffic.
SENATOR BROWN: The sterilized seed will not reproduce?
MR. ANSLINGER: It will re-seed itself.
SENATOR BROWN: I am referring to the birdseed. What are they going to do to the birdseed?
MR.ANSLINGER: They are going to kill the germinating power.
SENATOR BROWN: When the seed is then thrown out, what will happen?
MR. ANSLINGER: Nothing will happen.
SENATOR DAVIS: Will it be of any use as a birdseed?
MR. ANSLINGER: Oh, yes. It will still have food properties.
SENATOR BROWN: The birds will sing just the same?
MR. ANSLINGER: There is some question about that. Sterilization is a voluntary act by the birdseed people.
SENATOR BROWN: That is not in this bill?
MR. ANSLINGER: It is not in there. They voluntarily agreed to do that under this act.
MR. HESTER: Yes, it is in the bill.
SENATOR BROWN: I wan to bring out one fact that you have not touched upon yet. As I understand it marihuana is not a habit-producing drug, at least to the same extent that opium is, for instance. It is somewhat easier to break the habit in the case of marihuana than it is in the case of opium smoking?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, you have stated that correctly, Senator. It is a very difficult matter to break the opium habit. However, this habit can be broken. There is some evidence that it is habit-forming. The experts have not gone very far on that.
SENATOR BROWN: There is the impression that it is stimulating to a certain extent? It is used by criminals when they want too go out and perform some deed that they would not commit in their ordinary frame of mind?
MR. ANSLINGER: That was demonstrated by these seven boys, who said they did not know what they were doing after they smoked marihuana. They conceived the series of crimes while in a state of marihuana intoxication.
SENATOR DAVIS: How many cigarettes would you have to smoke before you got this vicious mental attitude toward your neighbor?
MR. ANSLINGER: I believe in some cases on cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother. It depends on the physical characteristics of the individual. Every individual reacts differently to the drug. It stimulates some and others it depresses. It is impossible to say just what the action of the drug will be on a given individual, of the amount. Probably some people could smoke five before it would take that effect, but all the experts agree that the continued use leads to insanity. There are many cases of insanity.
SENATOR HERRING: Is it every type off hemp that contains this drug, or is it just some particular type?
MR. ANSLIINGER: Yes, sir; there are different forms, but only one species.
SENATOR BROWN: This thought has impressed me: I read with care the supplemental statement which you placed in the record before the Ways and Means Committee, in which you brought out quite clearly that the use, which will be “illicit” if we may describe it that way, in the event this bill becomes a law, has been known to the peoples of Europe and Mexico and the United States for centuries.
MR. ANSLINGER: That is right.
SENATOR BROWN: Do you think that the recent great increase in the use of it that has taken place in the United States is probably due to the heavy hand of the law, in its effect upon the use of other drugs, and that persons who desire a stimulant are turning to this because of the enforcement of the Harrison Narcotics Act and the State laws?
MR. ANSLINGER: We do not know of any cases where the opium user has transferred to marihuana. there is an entirely new class of people using marihuana. The opium user is around 35 to 40 years old. These users are 20 years old, and know nothing of heroin or morphine.
SENATOR BROWN: What has happened to the new dissemination of it? We did not hear anything of it until the last year or so.
MR. ANSLINGER: I do not think that the way against opium has very much bearing upon the situation. That same question has been discussed in other countries; in Egypt particularly, where a great deal of hasheesh is used, they tried to show that the marihuana user went to heroin, and when heroin got short he jumped back to hasheesh, but that is not true. This is an entirely different class.
I do not know just why the abuse of marihuana has spread like wildfire in the last 4 or 5 years.
SENATOR BROWN: Could you give us any estimate of the number of persons that are engaged in this illicit traffic? Please state that as nearly as you can.
MR. ANSLINGER: I can only give you what our records show, Senator. There were about 400 arrests throughout the States in the year.
SENATOR BROWN: That is for violations of State law?
MR. ANSLINGER: For violations of State law. That would not include the arrests in California, where I understand they have several hundred a year; but the figure I am giving you of 400 arrests would be about the average number that are being picked up now, under just a noncoordinated enforcement policy , every State doing its own work, and bringing us in occasionally. When they run into “dope” work, and bringing it to us occasionally. When they run into “dope” we down and say, “It is marihuana and you take the case.”
The state of Ohio recently seized what we call a “plant”. It was a seizure of marihuana. These people had a mailing list of 6,000 customers scattered throughout the States.
SENATOR DAVIS: How were they dispensing it?
MR. ANSLINGER: They were selling it in lots from a pound down, just selling it by mail.
SENATOR BROWN: There was nothing in the law to prevent a man in Columbus, Ohio, using the mail in selling it to a person in Louisville, Kentucky?
MR. ANSLINGER: No, they are doing it every day.
SENATOR DAVIS: Is there anything in the present bill to prevent them using the mail?
MR. ANSLINGER: Under this bill it would have to be tax-paid, and all of that would be illicit, sir.
SENATOR HERRING: You say there are several hundred arrests in California alone, and about that same number throughout the rest of the United States?
MR. ANSLNGER: There are about the same number in the rest of the United States.
SENATOR HERRING: How do you account for that? Is it because of their state law?
MR. ANSLINGER: It is because they have a state enforcement agency there. They vigorously enforce the law. I might say that Pennsylvania is doing important work also.
SENATOR HERRING: It might be just as prevalent in other states; but for the fact that we do not have the law enforced as efficiently?
MR. ANSLINGER: I would not say it is as prevalent, but certainly the use has increased in the last few years. In Pennsylvania the enforcement people are very active today, particularly in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and the are constantly calling upon us.
SENATOR DAVIS: Are they endorsing the Harrison Narcotics Act in manner satisfactory to you?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir; that is satisfactory, but they are asking us for help every now and then when they run into a rather large situation.
SENATOR BROWN: I think that while you are on that point you had better make clear the need for Federal legislation. You say the States have asked you to do that. I presume it is because of the freedom of interstate traffic that the States require this legislation?
MR. ANSLINGER: We have had requests from states to step in because they claimed it was not growing in that state, but that it was coming in from another state.
SENATOR BROWN: And they could not touch that?
MR. ANSLINGER: And they could not touch it and we could not touch it.
There is need for coordinated effort. We are required to report ot the League of Nations, under a treaty arrangement, all of the seizures of marihuana made throughout the United States. It is rather difficult to get, I would say, half of them. One particular reason and one primary reason for this is — usually these complaints come to us first — that there is “dope” being used in a certain place, and that there is a supply of it on a certain street. Our men go and investigate it, and they find that it is marihuana. Well, we have to call in the state officers and there is a lot of lost effort. Very often by the time the state officer comes the case is gone. I would say in most of these cases we get the information first and turn it over to the state officer. Now, we want to coordinate all of that work throughout the states. By state and Federal cooperation we can make a good dent in this traffic.
For instance, all states had narcotics laws before the enactment of the Harrison Narcotics Act, but until the Federal Government stepped in no substantial progress was made.
SENATOR BROWN: What have you to say about the extent of the production of hemp? May it be produced in practically any state in the Union?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir, it can be produced.
SENATOR BROWN: There is climatically no reason why it could not be produced everywhere in the United States?
MR. ANSLINGER: No.
SENATOR BROWN: Growing as a weed could take place anywhere?
MR. ANSLINGER: Anywhere; yes, sir. That has been demonstrated.
SENATOR DAVIS: A moment ago I asked you what was the yield per acre, and you then told me so much of the flower and so much of the leaves. What is the combined yield per acre of both the flower and the leaves?
MR. ANSLINGER: I would not be able to say that, sir. That would be impossible.
SENATOR DAVIS: Is there any way of getting that information?
MR. ANSLINGER: We are growing an experimental crop over here on the Agricultural Farm. We can find out that way, or we can take a plant and strip the leaves and the flowers, and find out how many plants there are in an acre and multiply it. I think that would give a reasonably accurate estimate. I think I can find that out.
SENATOR DAVIS: I wish you would.
SENATOR BROWN: Now, Commissioner Anslinger, I do not know whether you are the best man to answer this question, or Mr. Hester. What dangers, if any, does this bill have for the persons engaged in the legitimate uses of the hemp plant?
MR. ANSLINGER: I would say that they are not only amply protected under this act, but they can go ahead and raise hemp just as they have always done it.
SENATOR BROWN: It has been represented to me that the farmer might hesitate to grow hemp when he is not only subjected to a $5 tax but also to the supervision by the Government, or what you might call the “nosing” of the Government into his business. What have you to say to this proposition?
MR. ANSLINGER: Well, I would say the answer to that is the fact that they are already controlled under state legislation.
SENATOR BROWN: In practically every state in the Union.
MR. ANSLINGER: Not all the states, but certainly in a lot hemp-growing states they are controlled. In most of the states cultivation is prohibited but in some states they are regulated by license.
SENATOR BROWN: Administratively, it seems you have charge of the administration of the tax and the collection of the tax?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir.
SENATOR BROWN: Just what would happen? We will take a farmer living the other side of Alexandria, over in Virginia. Just what would happen to him if he wanted to grow 2 acres of hemp? What would he have to do?
MR. ANSLINGER: He would go down to the collector of internal revenue and put down his $5 and get a registration, a stamp tax. That would permit him to grow under the act, and at the end of year —-
SENATOR BROWN: That is a stamp tax similar to the one a doctor gets who uses a narcotic?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir, the same kind of tax.
SENATOR BROWN: He would hang that up in his house?
MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, sir. At the end of the year we would just ask how much he grew.
SENATOR BROWN: Would you not go down and look his field over, to ascertain whether he was making any illicit use of the otherwise worthless byproduct? As I understand it, there is no legislation about the use of the petals or the flowers or of these leaves.
MR. ANSLINGER: So far very few of these hemp people have been involved. Well, they have not been involved in the illicit traffic at all.. This case in Texas is the only case I know of. We were not going to supervise his crop. It would be impossible.
SENATOR BROWN: I do not mean that, but suppose that some fellow come along and says, “I will give you $100 to let me go in and strip your leaves and top flowers from your hemp crop.” How would you ever cover that? How would you meet a situation of that kind?
MR. ANSLINGER: Certainly under the act, if the farmer agreed ot that, they would both be guilty of conspiracy to violate the act.
SENATOR BROWN: But you would exercise no particular supervision over the growing of that crop?
MR. ANSLINGER: The exercise would be in this way: If we see Mr. Dewey Doss, the photograph of whose place I showed you, go in and pay $5 to the collector, we would watch that. We would be very careful to see what disposition he made of that, but we would certainly know the sheep from the goats without any close general supervision.
SENATOR BROWN: I do not think that you would have any trouble with legitimate manufacturers, because they are dealing with the Government; but the farmer himself might be a little disposed not to grow the hemp, knowing the illicit use that might be made of a part of his crop.
MR. ANSLINGER: It is just an information return. That is all we would be interested in, unless he would conspire with someone else to have the crop stripped. But one saving feature about this whole thing so far as the farmer is concerned is that the crop is cut before the resin reaches the nth state.
SENATOR BROWN: Before it reaches its greatest potency?
MR. ANSLINGER: In other words, before it reaches its greatest potency. There is some resin that comes up through the plant, but if he is a legitimate hemp producer he will cut it down before the resin makes its appearance.
SENATOR BROWN: You had before the Ways and Means Committee two samples of the plant. Do you happen to have any of those samples here?
MR. HESTER: We do not have them here this morning. We can get those samples for you.
MR. ANSLINGER: The plant which I have in my hand now can be easily distinguished as you go along the road.
SENATOR DAVIS. You can see that along all the highways of the country.
MR. ANSLINGER: Well, Senator Davis, that will grow up 16 feet.
SENATOR DAVIS: How high?
MR. ANSLINGER: Sixteen feet.
SENATOR DAVIS: Sixteen feet?
MR. ANSLINGER: Sixteen feet. Of course when they are small like that you cannot distinguish them.
SENATOR BROWN: At what height are they usually harvested?
MR. ANSLINGER: About 14 or 16 feet.
SENATOR BROWN: At that height?
MR. ANSLINGER: Not for hemp production. That is for resin.
SENATOR BROWN: I mean for hemp production.
MR. ANSLINGER: Oh, for hemp production, I would say around 10, 12, 14 feet. But it is certainly before the resin gets up there to do the damage.
SENATOR BROWN: Are there any other questions that any member wants to ask Mr. Anslinger?
MR. ANSLINGER (sic): What is the return to the farmer per acre?
MR. ANSLINGER: I do not know. The hemp people here could tell you what the return is, but I understand it is around $30.
SENATOR BROWN: Does it require intense cultivation?
MR. ANSLINGER: I do not think so.
SENATOR HERRING: It is a weed that will grow, is it not?
MR. ANSLINGER: It will grow without any trouble. In fact, a lot of these illicit traffickers will try to hide their field with corn. They will grow corn all around it. Well, the hemp will shoot right up above the corn and will grow 4 or 5 feet higher.
MR. HESTER: Before we complete our case I think we ought to say one word on the regulations, if I may?
SENATOR BROWN: Yes; we shall be glad to have that.
MR. HESTER: From time immemorial it has been the policy of Congress in imposing taxes and in providing exemptions under certain conditions from the imposition of certain taxes, to provide that the exemption will be made under regulations to be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
Take for example in this particular case, in the Revenue Act of 1932 they provided that automobile parts and accessories should be exempt from taxes if the manufacturer sells them to a manufacturer who is going to make a complete automobile or truck.
In order to get that exemption the manufacturer who is going to sell that part of an automobile or truck to the other manufacturer, who is going to make a completed truck, cannot get that exemption except under regulations to be prescribed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
The Commissioner merely requires him to obtain a certificate from the other manufacturer that this part is to be used in the manufacture of a completed truck.
In this particular we have exactly the same situation here, and we are simply following the practice, I say, that Congress has followed from time immemorial in revenue acts. The farmer here will not even have to go to the Collector’s office. All he will have to do will be merely to mail in his five dollars, and they will send him the stamp tax and the registration. At the end of the year he will make an information return as to how much land he has under cultivation and what disposition he has made of it.
When he wants to sell his crop off seeds all he will have to do under the regulations of the Treasury Department will be to obtain some evidence from the person to whom he sells it, that that person is entitled to the exemption.
That is the situation with respect to the seed, which is the important item involved here so far as the domestic interests are concerned. Of course, the fiber products are entirely out of the bill.
That completes our case.
SENATOR BROWN: Mr. Hester, what are you going to do with respect to the large number of farmers who are not going to know about this law in its earlier stages of enforcement? It seems to me that with the lack of dissemination of information, a great many of them are going to engage perhaps in a legitimate production of it, not knowing of this law. Are you rather harsh toward those fellows, or can you be reasonable and generous toward them?
MR. HESTER: No, the bill will not become effective for 60 days, and there are not a great many of the hemp producers in the United Sates. Of course the Treasury Department would do everything it possibly could to notify these people. There would be no hardship imposed upon them. This would be administered exactly as any other revenue act is administered, and frequently there are excise taxes imposed where the individual does not know anything about it.
SENATOR BROWN: What legitimate uses are now made of the hemp plant in the United States. That is, what causes the farmer to raise it?
MR. HESTER: Some raise it for seeds.
SENATOR BROWN: Do you mean birdseeds?
MR. HESTER: Yes. They raise the seeds for use in the manufacture of birdseed. They make oil out of it. Most of the seed, however, that is used in the manufacture of oil is imported from Manchuria, but it may develop in this country.
Then after the seed is used for the making of oil, they take that seed and crush it, and make meal and meal cake, and that is sold to cattle raisers.
The oil is used in the manufacture of varnish and paint and soap and linoleum, and then in the case of the mature stalk they use that for making fiber and fiber products. Of course, they are entirely outside the bill.
SENATOR DAVIS: While primarily you are placing a tax, it is for the sole purpose of getting and enforcement of the law, and getting a plan for enforcing it?
MR. HESTER: That is correct.
SENATOR DAVIS: If it should be one dollar, what difference would that make?
MR, HESTER: Well, the situation is simply this: ——-
SENATOR DAVIS: I am only talking from the farmer’s point of view, of charging him one dollar instead of five dollars.
MR, HESTER: I am glad you raised that point, Senator Davis,. When the Harrison Act was first before the Supreme Court the occupational tax was only one dollar, and the vote was 5 to 4. In other words the Supreme Court said, “This is a revenue measure”, although the tax was only one dollar. But the vote was five to four. After that Congress raised the occupational tax and then when the case came before the Supreme Court, the vote was six to three. and the Court said, “We now have more reason to sustain the constitutionality of this act that we had before, because it is more of a revenue act than it was then.”
In the case of the producers, under the Harrison Narcotics Act, although there are no poppies grown in this country, if they could develop it so that they could raise poppies, so that they could get opium from it, the farmer would have to pay $24, but in this case the producer only pays five dollars.
We have left the practicioner at one dollar, because that was the situation of the Harrison Narcotics Act, and that is the real reason why the figures are set in this bill at $24, $5, $3, and one dollar, so that we can have a real revenue raising measure.
SENATOR DAVIS: You charge five dollars an acre under this?
MR, HESTER: Oh no, a year.
SENATOR DAVIS: I meant to say this: You charge five dollars whether he produces on one acre of on one thousand acres?
MR, HESTER: That is right.
Senator Brown: Have you worked out the Canal Zone matter with the Department?
MR, HESTER: We have. They wish to be exempted, and they have agreed not to propose their amendment providing for direct regulation of marihuana in the zone because as I pointed out to you the other day it might indicate on the face of the bill that it is a regulatory measure, but they wish to be exempted, and we have no objection. We are preparing to change that.
SENATOR BROWN: Just one or two more matters. Why should they be exempted?
MR, HESTER: There is no legitimate business in the Canal Zone, and they say they have sufficient control over the marihuana problem in the zone at this time under existing legislation, and they object to general legislation being applied.
SENATOR BROWN: It would probably be considerable duplication of effort down there.
MR, HESTER: There might be some. The Harrison Narcotics Act applies to the Canal Zone, and that is the reason why it was included in this bill. But the Treasury Department has no objection if the Canal Zone goes out.
SENATOR BROWN: Will this entail any considerable increase in personnel of the Department?
MR, HESTER: No, I do not think so.
MR. ANSLINGER: No, sir.
SENATOR BROWN: I understand this measure has the approval of the Treasury Department.
MR, HESTER: Yes, oh, yes. it is strongly recommended by the Treasury Department.
SENATOR BROWN: Is there anything further from the ‘government? Do you desire to have a chemist testify?
MR, HESTER: I think we have finished our case.
SENATOR BROWN: Very well, Thank you, Mr. Hester and Commissioner Anslinger.
The next witness on my list is Mr. Rens of the Rens Hemp Coo. of Brandon, Wis. We would be glad to hear from him.