Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

History of Tobacco Regulation - Tobacco Revenues

US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Table of Contents
I. Marihuana and the Problem of Marihuana
Origins of the Marihuana Problem
The Need for Perspective
Formulating Marihuana Policy
The Report
II. Marihuana Use and Its Effects
The Marihuana User
Profiles of Users
Becoming a Marihuana User
Becoming a Multidrug User
Effects of Marihuana on the User
Effects Related to Pattern Use
Immediate Drug Effects
ShortTerm Effects
Long Term Effects
Very Long Term Effects
III. Social Impact of Marihuana Use
IV. Social Response to Marihuana Use
V. Marihuana and Social Policy
Drugs in a Free Society
A Social Control Policy for Marihuana
Implementing the Discouragement Policy
A Final Comment
Ancillary Recommendations
Legal and Law Enforcement Recommendations
Medical Recommendations
Other Recommendations
Letter of Transmittal
Members and Staff
History of Marihuana Use: Medical and Intoxicant
II. Biological Effects of Marihuana
Botanical and Chemical Considerations
Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect
Acute Effects of Marihuana (Delta 9 THC)
Effects of Short-Term or Subacute Use
Effects of Long-Term Cannabis Use
Investigations of Very Heavy Very Long-Term Cannabis Users
III. Marihuana and Public Safety
Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
Marihuana - Public Health and Welfare
Assessment of Perceived Risks
Preventive Public Health Concerns
Marihuana and the Dominant Social Order
The World of Youth
Why Society Feels Threatened
The Changing Social Scene
Problems in Assessing the Effects of Marihuana
Marihuana and Violence
Marihuana and (Non-Violent) Crime
Summary and Conclusions: Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
History of Marihuana Legislation
History of Alcohol Prohibition
History of Tobacco Regulation
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National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

History of Tobacco Regulation*


A peculiar relationship exists between production and revenue. In 1970, cash receipts from tobacco brought in $11 million for Pennsylvania; tobacco farmers and cigarette taxes amassed $194.6 million for the state. By comparison growers in North Carolina collected $576 million while the state collected only $13.4 million in cigarette revenues (USDA, Tobacco Situation, 1971b: 43).

The federal excise tax on a package of cigarettes is currently eight cents and has remained so since 1951. The combined state and federal tax was highest in Pennsylvania; 26 cents for 20 cigarettes, which was 58.2% of the retail price. Connecticut's 24 cents and Texas's 23.5 cents were close behind; the average for the United States was 46.8%.

To the Federal and state governments today, tobacco is a financial asset. The total federal and state revenue collected f rom all tobacco products in 1971 amounted to over $4.7 billion. Local governments excised the product further bringing the sum total to $4.8 million (USDA, Tobacco Situation, 1971b: 44).

From the years 1890 to 1930 cigarette tax collections from tobacco soared from approximately $1 million to over $339 million. By 1950, they exceeded $1.2 billion.

Totals for the years 1890 to 1970 are recorded in the following chart (Tobacco Tax Council, 1970: 5)

Cigarette tax

Years Collections
1890 $1,100,000
1900 4,000,000
1910 7,900,000
1920 151,300,000
1930 359,800,000
1940 533,000,000
1950 1,242,800,000
1960 1,863,600.000
1970 2,036,100,000

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