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|The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937|
STATEMENT OF DR. S. L. HILTON REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN PHARMACEUTICAL ASSOCIATION
Dr. Hilton: I want to say, Mr. Chairman, that we are not opposing this legislation. We are in favor of any legislation that will correct anything pertaining to habit-forming drugs, but we are opposed to two sections of this bill. One is the section requiring the pharmacists of this country to take out a $15 registration license. The Harrison Narcotics Act only requires pharmacists to take out a $3 license where they are dealing with opium, coco leaves, their preparations, salts, and derivatives. There is one thousand times as much of those drugs used as there is of Cannabis indica..
Further on in this bill there is a provision in section 6 (a), which says:
Except in pursuance of a written order of the
person to whom such marihuana is transferred, on a form to be
issued in blank for that purpose by the Secretary.
Each order form sold by a collector shall be
prepared by him and shall include an original and two copies, any
one of which shall be admissible in evidence as an original. The
original and one copy shall be given by the collector to the
I have made a careful analysis cover 25,000 prescriptions since we learned of this bill, and found that there were only 20 prescriptions in the 25,000 containing Cannabis indica.. . Now, in the event this bill becomes law, I will destroy all of it so I will not have to register and will not have to pay that extra tax. in order to avoid it, I will refuse to fill prescriptions containing Cannabis indica. , because I think it is clearly shown in my case, and from the various drug services which i could quote, that Cannabis indica. is a useless medicament, and is used only about 4 times in 10,000 prescriptions. It seems to me that it is only reasonable that this should be changed.
The Chairman: Have you discussed this with Mr. Hester?
Dr. Hilton: I discussed it with Mr. Tipton, and I think Mr. Tipton is decidedly in favor of reducing that fee.
I want to point out the inconsistency in the section dealing with order forms: In one case it says the Secretary of the Treasury can issue the form in blank, while in another case it says that you must go to the collector, and that the order form shall be prepared by him.
Mr. Vinson: How is that done under the Harrison Narcotics Act?
Dr. Hilton: Under the Harrison Narcotics Act we purchase from the collector a book of 10 order forms. We write for them, and prepare the forms. That is the retail form. There is a wholesale license which they grant. We supply narcotics on forms to physicians. In my case, I have quite a large clientele among physicians, and we must purchase those order forms. consequently, I keep more than 10 at a time. We fill them out in ink or with indelible pencil.
Mr. Vinson: It would not take any longer to get an order form for marijuana than to get an order form for narcotics. That section seems to be objectionable to you.
Dr. Hilton: I think that provision should be stricken from the bill.
Mr. Vinson: You get the forms from the collector under the Harrison Act.
Dr. Hilton: Yes, sir.
Mr. Vinson: It would not take any longer time to get a form for marihuana than for narcotics under the Harrison Act.
Dr. Hilton: If they were issued in blank, that is true, but if the were issued under this provision, in subsection (d), it would take a longer time, because the collector must fill it out. you must get it from the collector and pay a fee.
Mr. Vinson: Under one section, you say, the collector fills out the form.
Dr. Hilton: Yes, sir.
Mr. Vinson: Under the Harrison Act, it is issued in blank.
Dr. Hilton: Yes, sir. Personally, i believe that the members of our association are of the opinion that the Harrison Narcotic Act, if amended properly, could take care of marihuana, and then we would have one registration and one order form.
Mr. Vinson: You do not want to endanger the Harrison Act in any way?
Dr. Hilton: Certainly not, and I do not believe that would endanger the Harrison Act, if the amendment was properly drawn.
Mr. Vinson: It is hard to deal with that.
Dr. Hilton: That is true, but we have five to four decisions by the Supreme Court that sustains this law.
Mr. Vinson: And sometimes they change back again.
Dr. Hilton: Yes, sir.
The Chairman: I assume that you recognize this evil.
Dr. Hilton: We certainly do.
The Chairman: you recognize the fact that some legislation on the subject is needed.
Dr. Hilton: We want to cooperate by doing anything we can to stamp it out.
The Chairman: I would suggest that you confer with Mr. anslinger and Mr. Hester, and I am sure that if you have a helpful amendment, we can work it out.
Mr. Vinson: Personally, I do not see any reason why any different treatment should be given an order form for marihuana than is given for narcotics. there may be some reason, but personally, I do not see any reason for it.
Dr. Hilton: We cannot see any reason for it.
The Chairman: We thank you very much for your appearance before the committee.
We will now take a recess to meet tomorrow at 10 o'clock in executive session.
(Thereupon, the committee took a recess, to meet tomorrow, Wednesday, may 5, 1937, at 10 a.m., in executive session.)
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Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
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Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
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