Nancy Grace fights one vs three when guests she thought were against marijuana legalization turn out not to be.

Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 In 1937 seventy-fifth Congress held a hearing on a bill H.R. 6385, an act drafted by Harry Anslinger. This act would become known as Marijuana Tax Act. Prior to 1937 there was heavy influence “lobbying” for the regulation and restriction of sale of cannabis sativa as a drug. Harry Anslinger at that time was the head of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, in FBN’s reports there was an indication of an increase of people smoking marijuana. Since hemp is of cannabis sativa family it fell under those regulations. The regulations were strange to say the least, especially since the invention of decorticator. Decorticator is a machine used for stripping skin, bark, plant stalks, and grain in reparation for further processing. This machine made production of paper pulp from hemp an efficient substitute in newspapers that were mostly made from timber. Several businessmen with stake in timber industries such as Andrew Mellon and Randolph Hearst led an effort to reduce the size of hemp industry. The strange part of this whole debacle comes from the matter of lobbying. Simply put, timber industry leaders did not want to loose out the money and influence to the hemp industry. With enough pressure, the timber lords were able to buy out the congressional votes. American Medical Association along with hemp industry fought against the act because the tax would be imposed on physicians that prescribe cannabis for medicinal purposes. The act was passed at the last moment with much opposition. Starting 1937 it became illegal to deal marijuana unless taxes were paid, further the hemp industry now had to pay a tax as well if they were to violated federal marijuana laws.7 This act persisted until 1969 when Supreme Court took on a case in Leary v. United States. Timothy Leary, an activist professor was arrested for possession of marijuana, which violated 1937’s law. He challenged the arrest saying that it violated his Fifth Amendment right. The Supreme Court led by John Marshall Harlan II ruled in favor of Leary, thus declaring Tax Act Unconstitutional. Subsequently in 1970 Congress passed Controlled Substances Act, placing cannabis sativa into Schedule I making illegal to manufacture without Drug Enforcement Agency’s permit.

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