Statement of Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Counsel, American Medical Association, addressing the Taxation of Marihuana, May 4, 1937, House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Washington,D.C.


«In other words, MARIHUANA is not the correct term. It was the use of the term “MARIHUANA” rather than the use of the term “CANNABIS” or the use of the term “INDIAN HEMP” that was responsible, as you realized, probably, a day or two ago, for the failure of the dealers in INDIAN HEMPSEED to connect up this bill with their business until rather late in the day. So, if you will permit me, I shall use the word “CANNABIS”, and I should certainly suggest that if any legislation is enacted, the term used be “CANNABIS” and not the mongrel word “MARIHUANA”. […]

Here is a law that proposes to bring within its scope everyone who produces, wittingly or unwittingly, a particle of Cannabis. It into every farm and every bit of land of every kind. We have this definition of producer. This comes in section 1, paragraph (c), page 2, lines 7 to 12, of the bill:

The term “producer” includes any person who (1) plants, grows, cultivates, or in any way facilitates the NATURAL growth of marihuana; (2) harvests and transfers or makes use of marihuana or (3) fails to destroy marihuana within 10 days after notice that such marihuana is growing upon land under his control.

That means every potential owner of land in the United States is a potential and maybe an unwitting producer of marihuana.

I say the medicinal use of Cannabis has nothing to do with Cannabis or marihuana addiction. In all that you have heard here thus far, no mention has been made of any excessive use of the drug by any doctor or its excessive distribution by any pharmacist. And yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the DOCTOR and PHARMACISTS of the country; and I may say very heavily, most heavily, possibly of all, on the FARMERS of the country. […]

Marihuana grows wild along railroad tracks, along highways, on land belonging to the Federal Government, on land belonging to the States, on immense farms and ranches, forest land and places of that sort; places to which, by the way, the Federal Government, I believe, has no inherent right of entry.»