This copy of this document was obtained from Historical Collections & Labor Archives, Pattee Library, Penn State - Harry J. Anslinger Collection, Box/Folder Listing, Page 9, Box 9


The enforcement of the revenue or taxing features of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, together with enforcement of State Laws regulating traffic in Cannabis Sativa, will have the effect of restricting the use of the drug to industrial, medical and scientific purposes; and through publicizing dealings in Cannabis Sativa it will prevent distribution for the purpose of maintaining or increasing narcotic addiction.

The Federal law, which became effective October 1, 1937, defines “marihuana” to mean all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, fiber produced form such stalks, oil, or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination (the oils extracted from the seed are also used for paint and varnish).

The Act was modeled upon the Harrison Narcotic Act of December 17th, 1914, which was designed to accomplish similar general objectives in respect of opium and coca leaves. The essential differences are two: (a) that registrants under the Harrison Law are required to be lawfully entitled under the State law to import, manufacture, purchase, dispense or distribute narcotic drugs covered by that law; whereas there is no requirement in the Marijuana Tax Act for prior State legal qualification of applicants for registration under that Act; (2) in the Harrison Law a commodity tax is imposed upon the narcotic drugs covered at the rate of one cent per ounce

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or fraction thereof, to be paid by the importer, manufacturer or producer. In the Marihuana Tax Act there is no commodity tax on marihuana, but there is a transfer tax at the rate of $1.00 per ounce if transfer is made to a registrant, or at the rate of $100. An ounce if made to a non-registrant. (The Harrison Act does not impose a transfer tax.) Importers, manufactures, persons preparing marijuana, producers, doctors, dentists, veterinary surgeons, and other practitioners, persons who use marihuana for research or analysis, and dealers, must pay a fee and register.


The literature on this subject tends to confirm the analysis of the psychic effects of hashish made as long ago as 1845 by Dr. Moreau, of Tours, in his book: “Du hashich et de l’alienation mentals”, which is still the standard work on the question.

According to Dr. Moreau, the psychic action of hashish consists of eight phenomena:

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Further, Dr. Moreau divides intoxication into four periods:

  1. 1 Period of nervous excitation;
  2. 2 Period of hallucination and mental instability;
  3. 3 Period of ecstasy and profound repose;
  4. 4 Period of sleep which terminates the intoxication caused by hashish.

Dr. Brotteaux, in his work on “le Hachich, herbe de foile et de reve”, Paris, 1934, followed up and in the main confirmed Dr. Moreau’s analysis. He carried out experiments on himself and on his friends, and thus made a more thorough analysis based on facts. Dealing with the subject mainly from the psychological standpoint, he endeavored to furnish a simple and logical explanation of all the characteristics of hashish delirium.

Brotteaux’s penetrating analysis and other data furnished by the literature on this subject, clearly show that paralysis of the higher centers, especially of the will, caused by hashish, and also over-excitation of the imagination and sensibility and the release of subconscious learning’s, cause, at all events when the drug is used to an excessive extent, serious mental disorder or even lunacy.

Dhunsiboy in 1930 showed that the prolonged use of Indian hemp usually leads to insanity. In 1933, Gueche (Le hachich et son danger en Algerie (Revenue med.trop. at e’hyg. Trop., Vol XXV) drew attention to the dangers of Cannabis addiction from the point of view of mental hygiene among the Arab population, and observed that chronic intoxication led in the end to hallucinatory insanity. Meunier devoted an entire chapter to the study of hashish insanity, and Dr. Henry Bouquet, in his

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