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DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library | Hemp (Marijuana) | Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
January 14, 1937 -- Room 81 Treasury Building, 10:30 AM
Dr. Lyster F. Dewey (retired) Department of Agriculture.
Dr. James C. Munch, Professor of Pharmacology, Temple University
Dr. Herny C. Fuller
Dr. Carl Voegtlin, Chief, Division of Pharmacology, National Institute of Health
Mr. Arthur F. Sievers, Division of Drug and Related Plants, Department of Agriculture
Mr. Peter Valaer, Alcohol Tax Unit Washington Laboratory
Dr. John Matchett, Chemist, Bureau of Narcotics
Mr. P. W. Simonds, Alcohol Tax Unit Laboratory
Mr. John F.; Williams, Chief, Division of Laboratories, Bureau of Customs
Mr. H. J. Wollner, Consulting Chemist to the Secretary of the Treasury.
M. H. J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics
Mr. A. L. Tennyson, Legal Division, Bureau of Narcotics
Mr. S. G. Tipton, General Counsel's Office
Mr. R. L. Pierce, General Counsel's Office
Mr. Wollner: As I understand the problem we've got here, and according to Commissioner Anslinger, it is a question of trying to set up a definition of terms with reference to what we generically refer to as the marihuana problem, in a sufficiently clear style and sufficiently competent as to be significant from an enforcement point of view. Is that as you see it, Mr. Tennyson?
Mr. Tennyson: Yes.
Mr. Wollner: And at the same time be mindful of the legitimate uses of the
product. In going through the literature on marihuana in pursuit of an answer to this
general problem of defining terms, you get very little satisfaction. For every negative
statement made there is a positive one made to counteract it. One reference will tell you
definitely there is no active principle in the seed -- a dozen will -- and one will cast a
shadow of doubt. Dr. Munch is rather certain there is an active principle in the seed. I
spoke to Dr. Munch in Philadelphia this week, and put this question to him this way:
"Can you take the position that there is no resin in the male plant?" He said,
"No, because I have found some in the small glands that secrete the resin so
copiously on the leaves of the female and are found in the male plant, though not to so
large an extent." Cannabis, in the Uniform Narcotic State Act, is defined as follows:
(reading from the Act) "Cannabis includes the following substances under whatever
names they may be designated: (a) The dried flowering or fruiting tops of the pistillate
plant Cannabis Sativa L., from which the resin has not been extracted, (b) the resin
extracted from such tops, and (c) every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture,
or preparation of such resin, or of such tops from which the resin has not been
extracted." That obviously doesn't meet our requirements.
In an effort to clarify the situation in anticipation of a possible attempt to set up a more satisfactory legal program, the technical division in the Treasury, the Narcotics Bureau, and the Legal Division, have gotten together and asked themselves some questions, which were distributed. I dare say that a duplicate or triplicate set of questions might have been asked with equal effect.
We haven't a problem akin to the morphine or opium problem. We knew the chemical reactions of morphine and its behavior before laws were passed. That state of definitive knowledge does not obtain with regard to cannabinol, which, again, some people dispute the existence of. In trying to define these terms we are not privileged, I am afraid, to be too emphatic about this compound known as cannabinol, especially since there may be contributive active ingredients in the plant. It has been an accepted situation in the past that all trouble derives from the female plant. That has been thrown over. First of all it was thought to be only the flowering tops; then, later, the leaves, but that is questioned at the present time. There isn't very much we can hang our hats on to. The problem is her of defining this for purposes of legislation. I wonder whether we can take each of these questions in turn and discuss them, in an attempt to clarify the picture somewhat. (Reading first question): "What is the constituent in Cannabis Sativa which is definitely know to produce deleterious physiological effects upon the human body?"
We, I think, can assume for the moment we refer to those effects which are recognized as being the concomitant off smoking the substance. How do you feel about that, Dr. Voegtlin?
Dr. Voegtlin: I think we can say that the substance called cannabinol contains the chief specific pharmacological principle or principles of the plant.
Mr. Wollner: Is that a fact?
Dr. Voegtlin: As far as we can tell. Recently a crystalline substance has been isolated from the oil.
Mr. Wollner: It is active in that form?
Dr. Voegtlin: As far as I know the pharmacological activity has not been tested.
Mr. Wollner: We separate cannabinol from the plant and crystallize it. If we give an animal an injection from that, will we get the same sort of reaction as it if were smoked?
Dr. Voegtlin: The work of Cahn on the crystalline substance was published in 1932, but apparently it has not been investigated as to its pharmacological action. Straub has made partially purified preparations -- not crystalline -- and has studied their pharmacological action on animals and humans. He come to the conclusion that the products give essentially the same response in humans as does the crude drug.
Mr. Wollner: Could we have that reference, Doctor, again?
Dr. Voegtlin: Professor Walter Straub, University of Munich, on "Bavarian Hashisch". They tested Cannabis grown locally and found it contained a much mower percentage of resin -- about one-tenth, if I am right -- as compared with the Persian product. The crude resin was partially purified. After calling attention to the lack of reliability of the bio-assay of Cannabis, they tested their products on rabbits and determined the dose which was just sufficient to produce anesthesia taken by human volunteers was found to produce definite symptoms characteristic of Cannabis. Two doses produced more marked symptoms. These are described in detail, especially from the psychiatric standpoint. This is the first careful psychiatric study of Cannabis. The doses used in terms of weight were very small. Whether to toxic symptoms were due to one substance or more than one, it is hard to say. Is it essential to attribute the action to one definite constituent?
Mr. Wollner: It would be preferable. We might be able to exempt certain parts definitely as coming within the purview of the law. If you can't do that you have to include everything. What do you think, Mr. Tennyson?
Mr. Tennyson: That's the way I feel.
Mr. Wollner: What do you think, Mr. Anslinger?
Mr. Anslinger: I think so to.
Mr. Wollner: If it weren't used sometimes in legitimate industry we wouldn't care.
Dr. Voegtlin: May I ask whether you have carried out any tests here on the presence of active principles in the different parts of the plant?
Mr. Wollner: No.
Dr. Voegtlin: Testing say, the leaves, the seeds etc.?
Mr. Wollner: Matchett and Valaer: Have you tried these?
Mr. Wollner: The only one who has done work of that kind is Dr. Munch. He will be here shortly. His results, working with the seed, showed two principles, one excitant and one depressive. Of course, the work has not been confirmed yet. If you accept the possibility of that, that is what you run into. That is why I asked that question. Is it possible that you have here the same situation as in opium, where you have a series of bi-alkaloids?
Mr. Tennyson: Just to clarify the situation, I would like to ask, from the standpoint of the layman, the difference between cannabin, cannabinol, and resin?
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Voegtlin, can you clarify that point?
Dr. Voegtlin: The resin is the crude secretion expressed from the plant. Cannabinol is a partially purified preparation of the resin. Resin and cannabinol are usually considered as containing the specific principles of Cannabis. As I said before, Cahn has applied the name Cannabinol to his crystalline substance, but this has not as yet been shown to be physiologically active. The word Cannabin is loosely used by different authors for impure products obtained from the resin.
Mr. Tennyson: Is the drug principle only from the resin?
Mr. Williams: I believe Cannaben is the name applied to the alkaloid.
Mr. Wollner: Isn't it true, that on the nether side of the leaves there are long hairs among which are sacs which secrete this resin analogous to opium?
Mr. Tennyson: Can that be obtained from the seed or the stalk?
Mr. Wollner: That is the question. It can be obtained from the flowering tops like opium. Can we define it as coming from the leaves and the flowering tops, when later we may find it comes also from the seeds and the stalk?
Mr. Tennyson: Can you identify it? If a substance contains cannabinol, can you by some process tell it is there?
Mr. Wollner: If it is present in certain quantities and in a certain state. That to a layman is no answer at all. If it exists in the form Dr. Voegtlin has mentioned, we can identify it if tit is there in sensible quantities. We do not know whether we can identify it if it were in a form generically on either side of it. We do not know what it is converted into if it stays in the open. Specifically, from your point of view, we do not know whether if you dehydrated the flowering tops for two years you could reactivate it.
Mr. Tennyson: As I understand it, Dr. Voegtlin, the resin is not designated as cannabinol.
Dr. Voegtlin: Cannabinol is an extract made from the resin.
Mr. Tennyson: The point is, we could not start with cannabinol as the fundamental of this drug for purposes of legislation, could we?
Mr. Wollner: No, you could not.
Mr. Valaer: I would like to make a practical suggestion. In growing the two kinds, male and female plants, in my back yard, I extracted a green resin from both plants. It looked exactly alike. There was not enough material to make fine extractions fur they appeared to be the same. There are more leaves on the female plant. In the male, there is hardly anything to really make a cigarette out of, but those leaves had the same sort of green resin that was described by various authors as being found in the female plant. Whether the physiological characteristics might be different or not, I do not know, but they certainly look the same and both gave the same Beam reaction.
Mr. Wollner: To confirm your work, Dr. Munch has done a microscopic examination of the male plant and found exactly the same sacs there as in the female, though many less of them.
Dr. Dewey: As a matter of fact the cannabis from Indian seed grown in this country 35 or 40 years ago produced a plant with both male and female flowers on the same plant. That's not uncommon with plants taken out of their ordinary habitat.
Mr. Valaer: The seeds in my little investigation were furnished by Dr. Dewey, and it seemed there were as many male as female seeds.
Dr. Dewey: You never can tell by the seeds which they are. They range from 60 percent to 40 percent always.
Mr. Anslinger: Did the male plant mature earlier than the female?
Mr. Valaer: Yes. I brought specimens of both kinds over. The male plant was dry while the female plant was still green and pliable. Some of the green pollen formed early in the male plant, and in order to get some seeds with it I shook some onto the female plants. Evidently I did fertilize them, because this is the third year, and I had volunteers this spring. It was three years ago I made the test, and last year and this year they showed up again.
Mr. Wollner: Do you see what we are up against, Mr. Tennyson?
Mr. Tennyson: Yes. I would like to ask Dr. Dewey a question if I may, to bring out the possibility off varieties in this plant. A question has been raised as to the difference between Cannabis Americana and Cannabis Indica. My impression, according to past talks over the telephone with Dr. Dewey, was that they are all the same.
Dr. Dewey: Three are many forms or types which are quite different, but the differences are only in degree. There are no distinct differences permitting a specific description I brought an illustration of the plants as they grow. There is the Cannabis Indica described by La Marsh in 1788, and in 1901; if he had my own plants he could not have made a more accurate description.
Mr. Wollner: What can we be sure of?
Mr. Anslinger: The danger in a definition would be to describe one species like Indian hemp or Cannabis Sativa L. or Cannabis Indica. We've got to be all-inclusive.
Mr. Wollner: Is there a generic title?
Dr. Dewey: There is only one species, but different forms.
Mr. Wollner: What would be the term under which we would be certain of including all forms?
Dr. Dewey: Cannabis Sativa L.
Dr. Sievers: Unless you want to say Cannabis Sativa and all varieties, if that would help any.
Mr. Tennyson: We discovered a field in Massachusetts, which has a law prohibiting the raising of Indian hemp, and the man said he was raising Cannabis Americana. It raised a nice question and might have availed him something in court if there is any distinction between Indian hemp and American.
Mr. Wollner: This is a basis we can all agree upon, then, that the designation be Cannabis Sativa L. That would include the plant in any stage off growth or development from the seed onward. Or would we have to further define that, Dr. Dewey?
Dr. Dewey: I don't think so. Cannabis will cover the plant in all forms.
Mr. Wollner: Is there any question as to identification of the seed? Suppose the possession of the seed were proscribed by law and a man were found with a parcel of it. Is there any possibility of error?
Dr. Dewey: I don't think so. The seed is very characteristic. there are varieties in size ranging from 50 to 75% in different forms. I don't know of any seed that can be mistaken for it though.
Mr. Wollner: Would we have to actually plant the seed and see what happens to definitely establish that this is the seed?
Mr. Valaer: I would like to quote Dr. George L. Keenan: "The most characteristic seed that I have ever examined is the cannabis seed." It is the easiest part of the plant to identify. I don't believe that difficulty will ever come up.
Mr. Wollner: Have you had any experience, Mr. Tennyson?
Mr. Tennyson: Not in seed. From what I can learn from Mr. Valaer and Mr. Simonds, it occurred to us that some one might take this abstract and impregnate tobacco, and we wonder whether it would be possible to identify that?
Mr. Wollner: I think that is an enforcement problem which would have to be predicated on present methods of identification and what can be developed. My thought was to first define the subject we are dealing with. Let's agree on the terminology with reference to this plant marihuana, Cannabis Indica, or Cannabis American. There seems to be no question that if we call it Cannabis Sativa we include all forms of the plant. The question is this: Can the plant in any of its forms be mistaken for any other plant?
Dr. Dewey: I don't know of any other plant. The leaf is very characteristic.
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Sievers, how do you feel?
Dr. Sievers: I want to confirm what Mr. Valaer said; it is very easy to identify and there is no other seed known that could be mistaken for it. Some of the nettles come the closest, I believe. As to the character of the seed, Mr. Keenan told me just the other day that there was no other seed known that would be mistaken for it.
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Munch, we are at the present time on the question of defining terms in reference to this problem. We have reached the point where all of us agree that if we refer to this species as Cannabis Sativa L. we refer to it in all stages of growth and development, and all the related members of the same family. The question has come up as to whether there is any possibility of confounding the seeds or the leaves separated from the stalks, or the flowering tops of any of the plants generically listed under this title, with any other type of plant.
Dr. Munch: In our experience, as far as the microscopic examination goes, we think we can distinguish Cannabis Sativa from any other plant that has been submitted.
Mr. Wollner: What is the reason for the doubt implied by your statement?
Dr. Munch: We have only examined about fifty different species of plants. There might be something we don't know about. Thus far, we have not had any difficulty in distinguishing Cannabis.
Mr. Wollner: Regardless of the state of dehydration?
Dr. Munch: Regardless.
Mr. Wollner: Is that purely visual, or is a chemical test included?
Dr. Munch: Only microscopic tests have been conducted in detail.
Mr. Wollner: In aging the plant, is there any likelihood of what you refer to as the source of the resin being destroyed or in any way hidden or assimilated in the body of the leaf in such a manner you could not recognize it?
Dr. Munch: I would have to qualify my answer to that. I haven't examined material less than three or four months old, and the literature states that these glandular cells do not appear until the plant is at least two months old. Under a variety of conditions, our microscopic examinations have always shown the presence of the typical glandular cells. The microscope seems to work under all conditions.
Mr. Wollner: Could we add to our definition that, regardless of the state of the plant, we could always identify any portion as belonging to this family? I was just wondering whether we could back up anything we could say. Could we do anything to the plant which would prevent us from identifying it? Let's say it had the age of about one year.
Dr. Munch: You are thinking about the leaf of the plant?
Mr. Wollner: Yes.
Dr. Munch: I think we can answer that in the affirmative. I think that under ordinary conceivable conditions we could identify it.
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Voegtlin, how do you react?
Dr. Voegtlin: I'm not a botanist. Suppose you only had fragments or leaves or seeds, could you identify them?
Dr. Munch: You could microscopically.
Dr. Dewey: That's right.
Mr. Valaer: At one time I had to examine a cigarette which was a mixture of tobacco and marijuana. It did not seem difficult at all to distinguish between ordinary tobacco structure and the other. It was a coarse yellow structure. It was just like picking out a pea from a bean, almost, under the microscope. In this first experience it seemed a very simple matter.
Dr. Fuller: There are other characteristics of the leaves besides the glands. I was looking at the pictorial microscopic fragments of Karma yesterday, and there are twenty things that might be concerned in distinguishing them. Cannabis is easy in one way, because there is only one species for the whole family. No other plant answers that description.
Dr. Dewey: It was the oldest plant described -- at least 2700 BC. That description has come down without question to the present time.
Dr. Fuller: They have references of its use in India for the purposes we are discussing.
Mr. Wollner: Is there any part of the plant we can exempt from any official cognizance?
Dr. Sievers: I could suggest something, but in view of Dr. Munich's work I am not so sure. It was always my understanding that the mature seed was harmless, but I would like to hear what Dr. Munch says.
Mr. Wollner: Would you mind telling us, Dr. Munch, what your recent experience has been?
Dr. Munch: I would be very glad to. We became interested in connection with the study of the possibility of developing biochemical methods for detecting materials in the saliva of animals, particularly men and horses. We studied two lots of hemp seed bought from feed stores, and a third lot which I separate by have from Cannabis Sativa plants grown under my personal observation in Glenolden, Pennsylvania. All three lots behaved in the same way. Ether removed the fat. Alcohol extracts of the de-fatted material had either a depressive or stimulating effect on mice, cats, dogs, and horses. We went a step further and added norite to the alcohol solution. After norite treatment the solution was lighter in color and contained the principle giving the stimulating reaction. We next eluted with chloroform, which gave us a cheesy-like material soluble in alcohol, and producing only a depressant effect. When we took extracts of commercial material (consisting of the leaves and fruit) and tried them on our mice they showed either a depressive or stimulating reaction; when we carefully removed all the fruits, then the extracts of the leaves had a depressant effect only. Our suggestion is that the stimulating principle of the fruit may go in with the depressant of the leaves and the resultant extract may show either stimulating or depressing effects, or nothing.
Dr. Voegtlin: Did you try it on dogs?
Dr. Munch: No.
Dr. Voegtlin: There was no ataxia?
Dr. Munch: No. The extracts of the fruit do not produce ataxia. In fact, they do not produce a typical cannabis reaction.
Dr. Fuller: I think the depressing effect would be similar to that of the barbiturates.
Dr. Voegtlin: In terms of seed used, what is the dose as compared with the flowering tops?
Dr. Munch: For the depressive type of effect?
Dr. Voegtlin: Yes.
Dr. Munch: Approximately ten times as large as the leaves, on mice.
Dr. Matchett: Isn't it true that the extract from the leaves would be different from cannabinol in this case?
Dr. Munch: We did not do any chemical work, but I expect they would differ.
Mr. Tipton: It would appear there are at least three principles we have to deal with.
Mr. Wollner: There is this to be said. We know that the principle won't stand rigorous treatment. Is it definitely known that cannabis does the job?
Dr. Munch: I evade answering that by saying I have never seen cannabinol. I have attempted to duplicate some of the work reported in the literature, but have not gotten satisfactory results.
Dr. Wollner: I would like to see reference to this: where a man has taken cannabinol, purified it and found it to be active. Did Fraenkel do any tests?
Dr. Munch: Yes. His work was with a certain product "Cannabinol" -- an oil -- which he found to be active. The work of Straub and the more recent chemical work of Cahn and Casparis shows that his suggested chemical constitution was not right.
Dr. Voegtlin: The doses Straub used were small, getting powerful effects in man, which would indicate that he dealt with a highly potent material.
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Fuller, I think you have something to say.
Dr. Fuller: I think I can add one or two points, from the experimental work I did covering about four years, some time ago, working with the plant on a rather extensive scale. We grew it by the acre -- fifteen or twenty acres at a time -- and concentrated on the bushy plant and from seed selection we got plants that would not grow over eight feet tall but were very bushy. That is, in the female. The male is more scraggly.
In the work I was doing we attempted to root up the male plants as fast as the blossoms became apparent so there would be no fertilization. I think, in planting as we used to, ten to a hill, we never get less than eight plants to come up and until the reached a certain stage we could not tell them apart. Some of these groups --- I don't know whether it is atmospheric conditions, soil conditions, or what -- seemed to develop more resin than others. One year we might get tops and leaves very sticky, and again they did not seem to be so much so.
After it is harvested and dried all you have to do is cut and shuck it like corn. There are always a certain number of seeds that will remain on the tops, especially where the plants are quite resinous.
Whether they can be gotten off by some process not known to the seed men I don't know, but it appears to me that the effect Dr. Munch has described probably came from a lack of thoroughness in removing that last portion of the resin, rather than any inherent substance in the interior of the seed itself. I am not saying that is the case, and don't want to cast any doubt on Dr. Munch's work, but am giving it as a suggestion. The plants I worked with were carried down to as ultimate a point as possible in the experiments that were conducted . This was done during the war. We were working with Dr. Sievers' office and trying to develop a drug industry. I found it was a very simple matter to concentrate the active principle, and I believe there is more than one as we got more than one effect-- depression, uncoordination, and a narcosis on dogs.
The experiment I carried out was done with an extract from the leaf and the seed and tops down to a point where we had a very sticky deep green extract, soluble in petroleum either and that, in turn, was treated with alkali which removed a great deal of resinous material which I assumed was inert and, carrying down further, we found this oily residue which was extremely active. The fact that the product had been obtained using a strong alkali, say 10 percent, would indicate to me that this substance cannabinol is not very phenolic in character. If it had been, it was my opinion it would have stayed in the alkali and not gone into the petroleum either. All this petroleum either extract was extremely active, and I was very anxious to go on with that to see if I could not get out some things to which activity could be actually ascribed, but, unfortunately, the people backing the work died and my experiments ended at that point. The points I want to make are these:
You will get drugs, cannabis, off probable different strength, depending on the season, and the development of this resinous matter. It is possible that what we consider as an active principle in the seeds is due to the adherent resinous matter which is difficult to abrade. I believe nobody knows definitely what, in a chemical way, the active principle of cannabis is, and I am almost of the opinion that there is more than one. I worked with the leaves from the male tops before being dried, and they are active, containing some resin. There is an active constituent there, and there is no reason why, if anybody wanted to raise a crop of cannabis they could not gather the male tops for that purpose. The female contains more because of the bunchy conditions of the tops. In other words, I believe both plants contain active material but, of course, the female is the more lucrative source.
Mr. Wollner: This confirms a lot you have said, Dr. Munch. You confirmed that fact with the male plant.
Dr. Munch: Yes. Exception is taken to only one point of Dr. Fuller's discussion. I set my hard-working assistants to work picking off the shells, and we still got both the reactions from the decorticated plants.
Mr. Wollner: Mr. Anslinger, I think that answers some doubts in your mind as to the Uniform State Act.
Mr. Anslinger: Yes. At this point, with regard to what Dr. Fuller had to say about several constituents, I think we might consider the experiments made by the Medical Division of the War Department in Panama. They took ten or twenty soldiers, gave them cigarettes to smoke and observed them over a given period. It seems every man got a different reaction. Some were depressed, some stimulated, some morose, some hysterical, some slept, and some became wild. It bears out what Dr. Fuller had to say about the possibility of there being a number of active principles.
Dr. Voegtlin: I don't know whether that necessarily follows. The way I understand the action of cannabis is that it does away with cerebral inhibitions. Now, that might produce any sort of reaction, according to the individual who is exposed to the drug. I think that's the reason we get these different manifestations. For instance, in this paper, (referring to Bavaran Haschish by Straub.) scientific people would have a very keen perception of their scientific problems, but they did not develop mania as some people do. It s the psychological constitution of the individual which determines the response. I agree there is a good chance we are dealing with different principles, though this has not be proven or disproven.
Dr. Wollner: I think I am inclined to agree with Dr. Voegtlin. The thing has not been sufficiently investigated to say definitely that there is only one or that there is more than one. From the legal point of view we cannot tie up any legislation with the term cannabinol. I am afraid that has to be out until we know more, and that may take thirty or forty years. There is a concomitant to that, since we do not know the active ingredient or ingredients, we are not in a position to say one chemical treatment or another might not produce those active ingredients from that portion of the plant which at the present time is believed to be totally innocuous. We might be able to take the stalk which is today a harmless part of the plant and generate it from copious quantities of the active ingredient.
Mr. Tennyson: That bears directly on the discussion we had on limiting this for the purpose of a workable piece of legislation to flowering tops, seeds, and leaves of the plant. Our idea was to attempt to help the hemp industry if we could do it.
Mr. Wollner: We might, among ourselves, compromise the situation. That situation must be acknowledged in the same way you have to accept the fact that morphine can be extracted from the stalk of the opium plant.
Mr. Anslinger: We might be in a bad position if we eliminated the stalks and later found it to be present in them.
Dr. Fuller: My experience with it was that the active principle was tied up in the resin -- whether this was gathered up and held there mechanically and did not exist in the more cellular portions of the plant I do not know. That was my only experience. I made no tests on the stems.
Mr. Anslinger: We could make those tests, couldn't we?
Mr. Wollner: I wonder whether our botanist friends could help us? What is the history of plants of this type? Are we likely to have them behaving as morphine and present in all parts of the plants?
Dr. Fuller: I can tell you our experience with belladonna, which is easily identified. The succulent parts, that is, the leaves toward the ends of the lateral stems and tops were always the most potent. We grew some that were over 2 percent alkaloid. As you come down to the big leaves which grew to maturity early and were beginning to disappear, there was very little alkaloid. The main stem and lateral stems that were woody were devoid of alkaloid. Toward the ends -- in the top stems -- we got alkaloid. Where they were more or less woody there was none.
Mr. Wollner: Wouldn't that be predicated on the sensitivity of your tests? Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that at any one time you would find it in the pipe lines?
Dr. Fuller: Yes, the pipe lines contained it all the way through as long as they were succulent. The root as well as the leaves of the belladonna contains the alkaloid. The woody stem did not contain it.
Dr. Sievers: The resin is probably parallel to essential oils which are present in leaves or flowers more than in the woody part. The stems as a rules contain a great deal less. Occasionally you will find it in the root. I hardly think the seed would contain much resin and at this time I would like to be put clear on what Dr. Munch has developed -- whether he really thinks the seed will produce any effects as the resin does.
Dr. Munch: The active material from the fruits does not produce the same type of pharmacological response as the active material from the leaves. We have instances recorded in the literature of narcotic effects on children from the fruits.
Mr. Tennyson: When you speak of fruits, do you include seed?
Dr. Munch: Technically this is a fruit and not seed.
Dr. Fuller: The words are more or less synonymous in the way they are used.
Mr. Anslinger: There is a case on record, I believe, of a prisoner who had a canary bird in the cell and the warden found he was taking the seed brought in to the bird.
Dr. Munch: May I offer for the record several lines of French? In a publication by Dardanane, on page 20, he is referring to some work done by Bouquet. The essence of it is that physiological tests upon the twigs of Indian hemp showed 0.40 percent, whereas the inflorescences showed 7.20 percent of resin.
Dr. Fuller: That sounds to me as if it was an immature plant.
Mr. Anslinger. Bouquet is working on this now.
Dr. Dewey: It says the young shoots here showed a very high percentage in comparison with the old shoots.
Mr. Sievers: The old stems would still contain less.
Dr. Munch: Yes.
Mr. Tennyson: It occurs to me, Dr. Wollner, that if we get a law we have to support it and everything in it when we go before the committee. We have here some other uses -- I don't know whether I am anticipating one of these questions or not. There is a use for fiber, for bird-seed, and for oil in the varnish industry. Those people will probably come in and complain about what they consider a foolish attempted control if we try to make this all-inclusive. If we are going to cast suspicion on every part of the plant we certainly will have to be fortified.
Mr. Wollner: I would offer this question to that, although we think it is well taken. It does not follow that because the seeds or the stalks are potential sources that we wish legislation to control their use. I do feel that we should be in a position to know what the situation is. I think that would be a preferred position to be in -- to be able to say that there is a possibility, but if it is existing, it is in amounts not sufficient to warrant its inclusion.
Mr. Tennyson: We had a complaint from the Sherwin-Williams Company who wanted to start a farm. We tried to discourage that. The point was raised in connection with this tentative act we have drafted. We are faced, on account of constitutional limitations, with the necessity of drafting this as a tax measure, with lessening of application of the tax to the legitimate articles of commerce which are innocent. In that phase of the situation we have quite a problem to qualify the exemptions, say seed, where there is apparently such a use for it.
Mr. Wollner: One thing would help us a great deal. It would be relatively simple, I imagine, to delete certain portions of the plant if we could say how much of the active principle was available in those parts of the plant. I turn to Dr. Voegtlin on this. Is it possible to use a bio-assay?
Dr. Voegtlin: No, I don't think it is characteristic enough. We are interested in the psychic manifestations which are produce by this product. These are, of course, not recognized in dogs or rabbits.
Mr. Wollner: Dr. Voegtlin, you mentioned that article by Straub in which he created this active principle in terms of the corneal effect.
Dr. Voegtlin: The criticism of the bio-assay on dogs holds also for the bio-assay on rabbits. both methods are based on the degree of cerebral depression produced. The symptoms in dogs and rabbits are not specific for cannabis, but occur also after alcohol and other drugs having a similar pharmacological action.
Mr. Wollner: Cannabis Sativa is included in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in unit doses?
Dr. Voegtlin: Yes.
Mr. Wollner: How are they measured?
Dr. Voegtlin: By the bio-assay method. I was a member of the Standardization Committee of the League of Nations and that is one thing we discussed and we came to the conclusion it was not reliable. Most pharmacopoeias do not contain a bio-assay for cannabis, although the American one does.
Dr. Munch: If I may intrude, that bio-assay was in the 10th, but is not in the 11th edition of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. When the American Drug Manufacturers Association submitted samples they obtained such inconsistent results that the bio-assay was deleted from U.S.P. XI. Qualitatively, the procedure was all right. We found, in our dog tests, that only about one dog in a hundred had a sufficiently developed brain to be useful. I made a detailed study of the rabbits corneal anesthesia method. We were unable to obtain any quantitative results with fluid extract. We do think it is qualitatively valuable.
Mr. Wollner: Could you answer this question: Has an active principle ever been separated from Cannabis Sativa, which was not associated with cannabinol?
Dr. Munch: If, by cannabinol, you refer to a particular product mentioned in the literature by Fraenkel, then I can answer the question. I believe that if the material reported by Fraenkel is considered as an entity, there may be another constituent in the leaf of Cannabis. Subsequent work has not confirmed the original cannabinol, and there are possibly three or four active principles at the present time, depending on the author.
Mr. Wollner: We are after limiting specifications. It is not necessary that the active principle be cannabinol or that it be the one and only, but if we could definitely establish that the active principle has been found then we could say "a substance which contains less than a certain amount of cannabinol is exempt." Do you see what I mean? How do you feel, Commissioner?
Mr. Anslinger: I would like to ask Dr. Munch a question. I thought you had found one other principle?
Dr. Munch: I believe there are at least three active principles.
Mr. Wollner: What would the legal aspect of this be, Mr. Tennyson? Would it be legally sound to measure the activity of the product by the amount of a material which is present and always associated with the material?
Mr. Tennyson: This is a taxing measure, you know. We like to think of it as some standard definite term that can be referred to that everybody knows about. If you are going to tax something on the basis of its strength, you have a lot of trouble.
Mr. Wollner: You tax liquors by nature of their content and material.
Mr. Anslinger: Wouldn't that place a colossal burden on your division, Dr. Wollner, when we get these cases into court?
Mr. Wollner: I think the Beams reaction would give evidence of cannabinol.
Mr. Tipton: If the Commissioner finds a field of fifteen acres growing will it be necessary to test ever plant to determine that, or can you, when you have tested one strain, say the rest of the field is the same?
Mr. Wollner: That would not be necessary, would it? If you find a man with one hundred heroin pills it is not necessary to test the hundred. We are trying to exempt the usable parts of the plant.
Mr. Valaer: At the present time the chemist has an easy time identifying. I would rather see us go further and say, identify a green resin which is apparently in both male and female plants. If you have to find a definite crystalline substance it is going to put a burden on the chemist. I believe we are going far enough to keep within practical grounds. If it is not a definite structure we could say it is a green resin. We have been very successful in court. I don't know of any case where anybody has fallen down. If we go too far I am afraid we are going to get into trouble. On this data here of the League of Nations on which some of the best minds in Europe have expressed themselves one man calls Cannabis one thing and one another thing. They all agree that there is a crude green substance. If you want to get into effect within the next year or so, if we get as far as a green resin characteristic of the plant, we will accomplish something.
Mr. Anslinger: I am afraid of making it too complicated. The agents out in the sticks would be confused.
Mr. Wollner: What's wrong with Mr. Valaer's approach?
Mr. Pierce: That would make the question easier constitutionally to defend I think, than if you were to link it with some constituent part.
Mr. Wollner: Suppose Dr. Matchett, as a result of his investigations in the laboratory, finds he is able to recover a certain amount of this green resin from the stalks, what is Commissioner Anslinger supposed to do then? For the purpose of this act could we define the substance first as a resin, secondly, as the leaves of the male and female plant, third, as the tops of the plants?
Mr. Pierce: Would that include bird seed?
Mr. Tennyson: No.
Mr. Wollner: If Sherwin-Williams wants to put in an acreage then they could do it.
Mr. Fuller: They can winnow the seeds out of the flowering tops.
Mr. Anslinger: The reason I am after the seed is the preventive measure. Getting the seed out will make our trouble disappear.
Mr. Sievers: Isn't that the same situation you have with regard to poppy? You can grow them in this country for seed legally, can't you?
Mr. Tennyson: What you say is probably true, but we like to discourage that as far as possible.
Mr. Sievers: There is no law at present that would prohibit me from growing poppy as a seed poppy.
Mr. Anslinger: In every case I know of where it was done we got the defendant.
Mr. Sievers: We had a project years ago where the scheme was to grow the poppy and let it mature and have the seed as a side crop, and we extracted morphine and other products. We did not go far with it because the Secretary did not approve.
Dr. Fuller: Can't you have some provision in your legislation for destroying the seed after the oil has been taken out?
Mr. Tipton: I would like to pursue this definition further. That sounds pretty good if you can define this greenish substance.
Mr. Wollner: I don't know whether it would be necessary to define it beyond stating its generic state: "The resin which is derived from this plant."
Mr. Tipton: Given a batch of greenish resin, you can determine that?
Mr. Wollner: Yes, I think that can be done. That is a question of laboratory technique.
Mr. Tipton: Can you say that the active principle is in the resin?
Mr. Wollner: Yes, we can definitely say that the active principle is in the resin.
Mr. Tipton: Your suggested definition is the flowering tops, the leaves, and the greenish resin?
Mr. Wollner: But that doesn't satisfy Commission Anslinger because potentially every seed is harmful.
Mr. Anslinger: Our experience has been that in almost every large seizure made we got a large quantity of the seed from the defendant for growing purposes.
Mr. Wollner: What would happen if we proscribed the use of seed for bird seed?
Mr. Anslinger: Dr. Munch told me it would stop the birds from singing.
Dr. Munch: The difficulty in Philadelphia now may be illustrated by one of these photographs. The individuals testified that this crop had been grown from bird seed scattered on the ground.
Mr. Wollner: If we proscribe the use of this stuff as bird seed we could eliminate that.
Mr. Pierce: Does ordinary commercial bird seed have any particular effect on its use?
Mr. Wollner: Bird seed only in part contains the Cannabis Sativa seed. I do not think our state of knowledge on that is sufficient. Not enough work has been done to say that it is detrimental tot the birds. The idea would be to license the growing of this stuff and to rule out the use of it for bird seed. If anybody else had it after that they would be guilty of a violation.
Mr. Tennyson: The tentative idea was to place a transfer tax on whatever we should cover, for instance, marihuana, or a general term which would be recognized -- a moderate tax for recognized purposes and a prohibitive transfer tax for any other purpose. What was the first amount?
Mr. Tipton: $1.00 to register.
Dr. Dewey: The use of hemp seed for bird seed costs about $1.00 per hundred pounds.
Mr. Wollner: I don't see that it would present any difficulties from the point of view of our technical side to include all the parts of the plants we know to contribute to the drug.
Mr. Pierce: We have excluded transfers to certain users. We would like to know if it would be safe to exclude transfers to persons just selling bird seed and who do not plant tit? Can any ill effect come from this?
Mr. Wollner: Suppose a man said he just discarded some bird seed and threw it out his window?
Mr. Pierce: If it is growing he is liable for the tax.
Mr. Wollner: Suppose he plants it on someone else's property?
Dr. Dewey: Practically all of our wild hemp is from bird seed. I don't know of a single instance in America where the fiber type has become wildly grown.
Mr. Tipton: Is hemp seed indispensable from bird seed? If Commissioner Anslinger would agree to cut out bird seed it would certainly help the bill and enforcement.
Mr. Anslinger: Can they prove that the birds need this food?
Dr. Matchett: Two people told me the hemp seed had potentialities for evil for the bird if the husks were not removed; furthermore, that the seed is an oily seed and is dangerous especially if the oil is rancid. I gathered that the hemp would not be indispensable, but did not ask it directly.
Mr. Wollner: Can we start setting up a definition for the purposes of the legal division? We include in that the resin derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa.
Dr. Fuller: Would you want to include the solid extract too?
Mr. Wollner: Any extract or derivative thereof.
Mr. Tennyson: You would not need to do that.
Mr. Wollner: In other words, the usual terminology would obtain with reference to this. Can't we get away from the use of the term marihuana?
Mr. Tennyson: We just happened to mention it as a general term.
Mr. Wollner: I think we would be on sounder ground if we left t in the scientific name Cannabis Sativa Linne.
Mr. Tipton: In a statute you can pick a term and define it as you please. Marihuana struck us as a good short form. Its meaning in any other regard would be of no consequence.
Mr. Tennyson: But don't you think, in order to be a little more scientific, we might call it Cannabis?
Dr. Munch: Certain state laws prohibit the use of marihuana. If your Federal law defines marihuana, will that strengthen your state laws?
Mr. Tennyson: One of the purpose of the conference is to give the States a better definition.
Mr. Wollner: We can say that Cannabis Sativa means Cannabis Sativa Linne.
Mr. Pierce: Isn't there some advantage in using the popular term marihuana?
Mr. Wollner: It is technically unsound and wrong, but that's up to you men to decide. Whatever you call it, it means Cannabis Sativa L, and any preparations, derivatives, etc. -- what else should there be?
Mr. Tennyson: "The salts, derivatives and preparations" or "any resin, salt, derivative and preparation thereof." Do you want to give that? Marihuana means Cannabis Sativa L. and any resin, compound, mixture, salt, preparation, etc." Would that mean everything?
Dr. Dewey: Yes.
Mr. Wollner: Cannabis means the flowering tops, the leaves and any resin, compound, mixture, salt, derivative or preparation of the plant Cannabis Sativa L.
Dr. Munch: That will include the fiber, won't it?
Mr. Pierce: We can exclude the fiber.
Dr. Munch: In the Mexican Pharmacopoeia it says that marihuana refers to the feminine inflorescence of Cannabis Sativa.
Mr. Wollner: Can we deliberately exempt the stalks?
Mr. Tipton: I think it would be better to say "Marihuana is the resin, and the flowering tops and leaves of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., the preparations, etc." That will eliminate the stalks yet include the resin.
Mr. Tennyson: Is the "flowering top" sufficient to include the seed.
Mr. Wollner: It is not quite specific:
Mr. Valaer: Let me give you a rough idea of what I have in mind. For the purposes of this act marihuana shall include all of the species of Cannabis Sativa Lynne, Noraceae and its synonyms: Cannabis eradica paludosa endrs; Cannabis indica Lamarck; Cannabis macoosperma stokes; Cannabis chinensis, delile; Cannabis giganta, delile; and by all other designations known. The provisions of this act shall pertain to all parts of the pistillate (female plant) and all parts of the staminate (male plant) and all parts that have been found to secrete the characteristic resin of Cannabis Sativa L.
Mr. Wollner: That throws it wide open again. We would have you out in the field looking for secretions. I don't think you give us enough leeway for exempting the stalks. The suggestion of Mr. Tipton fortifies us in this respect. The stalks as such cannot be smoked.
Dr. Matchett: Could it be possible that the young plants might have the resin in their stalks?
Dr. Fuller: Put in the word mature.
Mr. Wollner: I think that's a good point. The only thing you want to exclude are the mature stalks. I don't see any reason why that should not be done.
Mr. Tipton: I can't think of any.
Mr. Wollner: Would you be authorized to issue specific regulations interpreting this?
Mr. Tipton: You have to be pretty definite in your act.
Mr. Wollner: Would you be undertaking too much if you exempted the oil?
Mr. Pierce: In ou transfer tax we could make exceptions for the paint companies.
Mr. Wollner: If you are going to take care of these things in your transfer tax why not take care of your stalk there too?
Mr. Pierce: We could. We are attempting to thrust the marihuana traffic into legal channels where it could be taxed some.
Mr. Wollner: What is that predicated on?
Mr. Tennyson: Physical transfer:
Mr. Wollner: Suppose I grew the stuff myself.
Mr. Tipton: You are taxed as a producer.
Mr. Wollner: Would the tax on that be prohibitive?
Mr. Tipton: No, by paying $25.00 I think you can grow and smoke all the marihuana you like, yourself.
Mr. Wollner: Is it incumbent upon you to see that no one else smokes it?
Mr. Pierce: There is a transfer tax which is prohibitive, and, of course, criminal penalties.
Mr. Wollner: And the responsibility rests on the enforcement officer to show that there was a transfer?
Mr. Pierce: yes.
Mr. Wollner: Mr. Pierce, would you try to re-word that definition?
Mr. Pierce: How would it be if you let us work out the definition. We have pretty well in mind what you wish to have exempted.
Mr. Wollner: Commissioner Anslinger, have you any suggestions?
Mr. Anslinger: No, I think that's going to be a great improvement over the definition we started with. I wanted to show the extent of the traffic and give some of the gentleman an idea of this problem to show we are not on a fishing expedition. Last year there were 296 seizures we know about. The illicit traffic has shown up in almost every state.
There was a question about the forms of Cannabis derivatives employed medicinally. This will take care of that trade, won't it? Is the tax to be prohibitive as to the trade? We prepared for the legal division a statement as to what was used. We had a list of about three hundred compounds.
Mr. Pierce: We have allowed exemptions in another part of the law for medical or veterinary uses.
Mr. Tennyson: Even that's going to be awfully expensive, Mr. Pierce:
Mr. Anslinger: I was surprised to hear some medical experts at Geneva recently say that is has absolutely no medical use. I think that the Indian delegate wanted to know what he was going to do for his corn plaster, and one of the medicos said it wasn't the cannabis, but something else, that had the analgesic effect.
Dr. Munch: We have shown that Cannabis has no local analgesic effect.
Mr. Anslinger: (Reading the 14th question.) "What are the proofs that the use of marihuana in any of its forms, are habit-forming or addicted, and what are the indications and positive proofs that such addiction develops socially undesirable characteristics in the user?" We have a lot of cases showing that it certainly develops undesirable characteristics. We have a case of a boy, about 15, (reads from report of case). This took place in a community playground in Finely, Ohio. The playground supervisors were the men who were selling the stuff. It all developed from the case of this youngster who was evidently going crazy. That's only one of the many cases we have.
Mr. Tipton: Have you a lot of cases on this--horror stories -- that's what we want.
Mr. Tennyson: Isn't there some literature on the effects, Dr. Voegtlin?
Dr. Voegtlin: Oh, yes.
Mr. Anslinger: And it leads to insanity?
Dr. Voegtlin: I think it is an established fact that prolonged use leads to insanity in certain cases, depending upon the amount taken, of course. Many people take it and do not go insane, but many do.
Mr. Wollner: At the League of Nations they whitewashed the whole thing.
Dr. Dewey: Colonel Crane wrote me it did cause trouble over there.
Mr. Tipton: the Commission inquired into the fact and said there was no more reason to control the hashish than to control alcohol. If it leads to insanity, and we have a lot of horror stories, we can build it up.
Mr. Wollner: There was a report given out by Wilbert in 1910 in which he claimed, as one of his conclusions, that there was no evidence of a habit-forming nature from the use of Cannabis by the Anglo-Saxon race. I just mention that because it may be pulled on you in opposition some time.
Dr. Dewey: Dr. Patrick, of the Bureau of Chemistry, definitely stated it was the most dangerous habit-forming drug he had taken, and he tried all of them.
Mr. Wollner: Are there any other questions?
Mr. Sievers: I would like to ask what the situation is with regard to the seed. What about a person who wants to import the seed for bird seed or hemp oil?
Mr. Tennyson: That's something still to be determined when we consider this new definition. I am not quite sure myself just how that will be handled.
Mr. Tipton: The only thing I had in mind was that we would endeavor, by the use of exemptions, to protect the use for oil-producing hemp, and to discourage the use of bird seed, because bird seed, as the Commissioner remarks, results to a great extent in illicit usage.
Mr. Seivers: Will there be a tax on the seed when used for oil purposes?
Mr. Tipton: The transfer tax will be exempted there.
Mr. Pierce: I think we can work out the tax on medicinal uses so that it won't be prohibitive. The bird seed industry will be wiped out probably as far as hemp seed is concerned.
Mr. Tennyson: Dr. Munch, you are quite familiar with Sharpe & Dohme's method of manufacture, aren't you? I was thinking that this transfer tax would have to be appreciable at least, and if it were at the rate of $1.00 an ounce on the raw material and another dollar an ounce on the transfer of extract, it would be rather expensive.
Dr. Fuller: I think you will find that, while a great many preparations may use a small quantity, there won't be a great deal of it used medicinally. Bauer and Black, in Chicago, used a great deal in making a plaster at one time. the rest of it might use a few pounds a year and, perhaps, somebody making corn plaster would use some.
Mr. Tennyson: Veterinarians use a great deal, don't they?
Dr. Fuller: I don't think you will find the volume is very great. I think the ue of Cannabis is diminishing as a legitimate use. that is just my opinion. from the point of view of one who has studied the situation for a good many years.
Mr. Wollner: Gentlemen, I want to thank Dr. Fuller, Dr. Dewey, Dr. Veogtlin, Mr.
Sievers, and Dr. Munch for their very kind assistance. I wonder if you gentlemen would be
in a position to confer with us further after this have been given more consideration?
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