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which, under the provisions of the Liquor Taxing Act of 1934, attend the stamping of unbonded spirits.
The change contemplated by the bill in the present method of stamping bottled-in-bond spirits will not only not be a source of expense to the Government but will actually furnish an accretion to the annual revenues of the United States. This is true because at present the bottled-in-bond case stamp costs 10 cents regardless of the number of bottles in the case. No additional charge is made for the green strip stamps which are attached to the case stamp in the form of coupons. On the other hand, the red strip stamps used on unbonded liquor cost 1 cent apiece in the case of bottles of one-half pint size and over, and one-fourth cent apiece in the case of bottles of less than one-half pint in size. Since in practice there are never less than 12 bottles in a case, it will be seen that the application of the unbonded liquor strip stamp system to bonded liquor will mean an additional cost of at least 2 cents a case for the bottled-in-bond stamps. The distilled spirits industry, however, will be amply compensated for this increased cost by the convenience of the new system. A distiller of bonded liquor will be able to obtain his strip stamps in a matter of hours at most after the sale of his liquor. Since the strip stamps must be placed on the bottles before they can be released from Government custody and delivered to the purchaser, this is obviously highly desirable. Under the present antiquated and cumbersome set-up, it necessarily takes the distiller many days, sometimes even weeks, to obtain his stamps.
In order to accomplish the objectives indicated above, H. R. 6737 amends section 1 of the Bottling in Bond Act of 1897 to eliminate the present requirement that strip stamps on bonded liquor carry the identical minutely specified data that the same provision requires to be placed on the side of each case of bonded liquor, and to vest the same discretion in the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to prescribe the data to be placed on bonded strip stamps, and other details in connection with such stamps, as the Liquor Taxing Act of 1934 now vests in him with respect to unbonded strip stamps. Incidental to this, and with the same general objective of permitting flexibility in administering the law, the bill also amends section 1 of the Bottling in Bond Act to eliminate the requirement that specified data be shown on the side of the case and to authorize the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to prescribe the marks, brands, and stamps to be placed upon the case to denote the fact that the spirits packed therein have been bottled in bond.
Representatives of the Treasury Department who appeared before your committee informed your committee that the present bill has the approval of the distilled-spirits industry. The bill is strongly recommended by the Secretary of the Treasury and is in accord with the program of the President.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets; new matter is printed in italics; existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman.
(Sec. 1, act of March 3, 1897, U. S. C., 1934 ed., Supp. II, title 26, sec. 1276.) (1) That whenever any distilled spirits deposited in the Internal Revenue Bonded Warehouse have been duly entered for withdrawal, before or after tax-payment, or for export in bond, and have been duly gauged and the required marks, brands, and taxpaid stamps (if required) or export stamps, as the case may be, have been affixed to the package or packages containing the same, the distiller or owner of said distilled spirits, if he has declared his purpose so to do in the entry for withdrawal, which entry for bottling purposes may be made by the owner as well as the distiller, may remove such spirits to a separate portion of said warehouse which shall be set apart and used exclusively for that purpose, and there, under the supervision of a United States storekeeper-gauger in charge of such warehouse, may immediately draw off such spirits, bottle, pack, and case the same. For convenience in such process any number of packages of spirits of the same kind, differing only in proof, but produced at the same distillery by the same distiller, may be mingled together in a cistern provided for that purpose, but nothing herein shall authorize or permit any mingling of different products, or of the same products of different distilling seasons, or the addition or subtraction of any substance or material or the application of any method or process to alter or change in any way the original condition or character of the product except as herein authorized; nor shall there be at the same time in the bottling room of any Internal Revenue Bonded Warehouse any spirits entered for withdrawal upon payment of the tax and any spirits entered for export.
(Every bottle when filled shall have affixed thereto and passing over the mouth of the same such suitable adhesive engraved strip stamp as may be prescribed, as hereinafter provided, and shall be packed into cases to contain six bottles or multiples thereof, and in the aggregate not less than two nor more than five gallons in each case, which, if taxpaid, shall be immediately removed from the warehouse premises. Each of such cases shall have affixed thereto a stamp denoting the number of gallons therein contained, such stamp to be affixed to the case before its removal from the warehouse, and such stamps shall have a cash value of ten cents each, and shall be charged at that rate to the collectors to whom issued, and shall be paid for at that rate by the distiller or owner using the same.
And there shall be plainly burned, embossed, or printed on the side of each case, to be known as the Government side, the proof of the spirits, the registered distillery number, the State and supervisory district in which the distillery is located, the real name of the actual bona fide distiller or of the individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association in whose name the spirits were produced and warehoused, the year and stilling season, whether spring or fall, of original inspection or entry into bond, and the date of bottling, and the same wording shall be placed upon the adhesive engraved strip stamp over the mouth of the bottle. It being understood that the spring season shall include the months from January to July, and the fall season the months from July to January.]
(2) Every bottle when filled shall have a ffixed thereto and passing over the mouth of the same a stamp denoting the quantity of distilled spirits contained therein and evidencing the bottling in bond of such spirits under the provisions of this Act, and of regulations prescribed hereunder.
(3) The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall prescribe (a) regulations with respect to the time and manner of applying for, issuing, a firing, and destroying stamps required by this section, the form and denominations of such stamps, applications for purchase of the stamps, proof that applicants are entitled to such stamps, and the method of accounting for receipts from the sale of such stamps, and (b) such other regulations as the Commissioner shall deem necessary for the enforcement of this Act.
(4) Such stamps shall be issued by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to each collector of internal revenue, upon his requisition in such numbers as may be necessary in his district, and, upon compliance with the provisions of this Act and regulations issued hereunder shall be sold by collectors to persons entitled thereto, at a price of 1 cent for each stamp, except that in the case stamps for containers of less than one-half pint, the price shall be one-quarter of 1 cent for each stamp.
(5) And there shall be plainly burned, embossed, or printed on the side of each case, to be known as the Government side, such marks, brands, and stamps to denote the bottling in bond of the whisky packed therein as the Commissioner may by regulations prescribe.
(6) And no trade marks shall be put upon any bottle unless the real name of the actual bona fide distiller, or the name of the individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association in whose name the spirits were produced and warehoused, shall also be placed conspicuously on said bottle.
THE MARIHUANA TAXING BILL
May 11, 1937.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. DOUGHTON, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted
(To accompany H. R. 6906)
The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6906) to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording, having had the same under consideration, report it back to the House without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H. R. 6906 is to employ the Federal taxing power to raise revenue from the marihuana drug traffic and to discourage the widespread use of the drug by smokers and drug addicts.
Extensive public hearings were held on this measure. It appears that marihuana is a dangerous drug found in the flowering tops, leaves, and seeds of the hemp plant. The drug is used only to a negligible extent by the medical profession, but the plant has many industrial uses. From the mature stalks fiber is produced which, in turn, is manufactured into twine. From the seeds, oil is extracted, which is used in the manufacture of such products as paint, varnish, linoleum, and soap. From hemp-seed cake, the residue of the seed after the oil has been extracted, cattle feed and fertilizer are manufactured. In addition, the seed is used as a special feed for pigeons.
Marihuana is also used illicitly by smoking it in crudely prepared cigarettes, which are readily procurable in almost all parts of the country at prices ranging from 10 to 25 cents each. Under the influence of this drug the will is destroyed and all power of directing and controlling thought is lost. Inhibitions are released. result of these effects, it appeared from testimony produced at the hearings that many violent crimes have been and are being committed by persons under the influence of this drug. Not only is marihuana used by hardened criminals to steel them to commit violent crimes, but it is also being placed in the hands of high-school children in the form of marihuana cigarettes by unscrupulous peddlers. Cases were cited at the hearings of school children who have been driven to crime and insanity through the use of this drug. Its continued use results many times in impotency and insanity.
The extent of the traffic in this drug is indicated by the fact that during 1935, 195 tons of marihuana destined for illicit use were seized and destroyed by State authorities under State laws. The seriousness of the problem is also emphasized by the fact that newspapers in over 100 cities in the country have reported the illicit use of marihuana within the communities which they serve.
Two objectives have dictated the form of H. R. 6906, first, the development of a plan of taxation which will raise revenue and at the same time render extremely difficult the acquisition of marihuana by persons who desire it for illicit uses, and second, the development of an adequate means of publicizing dealings in marihuana in order to tax and control the traffic effectively.
This bill is modeled upon both the Harrison Narcotic Act and the National Firearms Act, which were designed to accomplish these same general objectives with respect to opium and coca leaves, and firearms, respectively.
Under its provisions all legitimate handlers of marihuana are required to pay occupational taxes as follows: Manufacturers, compounders and importers, $24 per year; producers, $5 per year; dealers, $3 per year; practitioners (doctors, dentists, veterinaries, and others of like character), and persons who use marihuana for experimental purposes, $1 per year. These persons, in addition to paying the occupational tax, must register with the collector of internal revenue and file information returns as to their dealings in marihuana.
Moreover, as an additional means of bringing the traffic in marihuana into the open, the bill requires all transfers of marihuana to be made in pursuance of official order forms issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, upon which the details of the transaction are set forth. In order to raise additional revenue and to prevent transfers to persons who would use marihuana for undesirable purposes, a transfer tax is imposed upon each transfer of marihuana. Upon transfers to registered persons, this tax is $1 per ounce, while, upon transfers to nonregistered persons, who under ordinary circumstances will be the illicit users of marihuana, a heavy tax of $100 per ounce is imposed. Heavy criminal penalties are provided for manufacturing, producing, or dealing in marihuana without registering and paying the special taxes, for transferring marihuana not in pursuance of an order form, and for acquiring marihuana without payment of the transfer tax.
Thus, the bill is designed, through the occupational tax, to publicize legitimate dealings in marihuana and through the $100 transfer tax to prevent the drug from coming into the hands of those who will put it into illicit uses.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE BILL
Your committee has examined the constitutionality of this bill and is satisfied that it is a valid revenue measure. The law is well settled that a revenue measure will not be held invalid as an attempt to regu