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The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Transcripts of Congressional Hearings


(The following statements were submitted by Mr. Anslinger)

Alamosa Daily Courier

Alamosa, Colorado, September 4, 1936

United States Treasury Department

Bureau of Narcotics

Gentlemen: Two weeks ago a sex-mad degenerate, named Lee Fernandez, brutally attacked a young Alamosa girl. He was convicted of assault with intent to rape and sentenced to 10 to 14 years in the state penitentiary. Police officers here know definitely that Fernandez was under the influence of marihuana.

But this case is one in hundreds of murders, rapes, petty crimes, insanity that has occurred in southern Colorado in recent years.

The laws of this state make the first offense of using, growing, or selling marihuana a mere misdemeanor. The second offense constitutes a felony.

Indian hemp grows wild within the limits of this city. It is clandestinely planted in practically every county in this section. Its use amounts to a near traffic in drugs.

The people and officials here want to know why something can't be done about marihuana. The sheriff, district attorney, and city police are making every effort to destroy this menace. Our paper is carrying on an educational campaign to describe the weed and tell of its horrible effects.

Your bulletins on traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs state that the production and use of Indian hemp are not prohibited by Federal law. Why?

Is there any assistance your Bureau can give us in handling this drug? Can you suggest campaigns? Can you enlarge your Department to deal with marihuana? Can you do anything to help us?

I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigaret can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That's why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions.

While marihuana has figured in the greater number of crimes in the past few years, officials fear it, not for what it has done, but for what it is capable of doing. They want to check it before an outbreak does occur. Did you read of the Drain murder case in Pueblo recently? Marihuana is believed to have been used by one of the bloody murderers.

Through representatives of civic leaders and law officers of the San Luis Valley, I have been asked to write to you for help. Any help you can give us will be most heartily appreciated.

Very sincerely yours,

Floyd K. Baskette

City Editor, The Alamosa Daily Courier

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