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The Puzzle of the Social Origins of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

John F. Galliher and Allynn Walker
Social Problems
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Feb., 1977), pp. 367-376
DOI: 10.2307/800089
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/800089
Page Count: 10
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The Puzzle of the Social Origins of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
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Abstract

Several recent studies of the origins of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, while analyzing the same data sources, have surprisingly come to differing conclusions. Contrary to the results of most of these studies, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there was a major effort by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to generate a public marihuana crisis to create pressure for this legislation. Indeed a review of newspapers as well as the Congressional Record does not demonstrate a nationwide marihuana crisis. Moreover, this legislation is not the important legislative change implied by these studies, but merely a symbolic gesture involving a Bureau promise of no increased funding required by this law's passage.

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