The Prohibitive Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
By The Herb Museum, Vancouver, Canada
In the secret Treasury Department meetings conducted between 1935 and 1937 prohibitive tax laws were drafted and strategies plotted. ‘Marijuana’ was not banned outright; the law called for an “Occupational excise tax upon deals, and a transfer tax upon dealings in marijuana”.
Importers, manufacturers, sellers and distributors had to register with the Secretary of the Treasury and pay the occupational tax. Transfers were taxed at $1 an ounce; $200 an ounce if the dealer was unregistered. Sales to an unregistered taxpayer were prohibitively taxed. At the time, “raw drug” cannabis sold for one dollar an ounce. The year was 1937. New York State had exactly one narcotics officer.
Fast forward to 2012, and the new form of “legalization” now results in more police with badges to enforce new prohibition laws masquerading as “legalization”.