Marijuana is the flower of the hemp
plant which has been cultivated throughout history
for its tensile strength in
making ropes, sails and cloth. The hemp plant is on a North Borneo postage
stamp and the cacheted subject of United States patriotic and business
At the turn of the
twentieth century the use and distribution of marijuana in the southwestern
United States and Territories became an issue with the advent of
migrant workers. Originally marihuana was included as one of the substances
to be regulated by the Harrison Act of 1914, but opposition from the drug
industry is generally believed responsible for its exclusion from the act.
In 1937 it was classified as a controlled substance and had
occupational and trade taxes imposed upon it.
In the early 1980's states in a new war on drug started implementing their own taxation programs. 24
States are known to have issued stamps for the collection of tax on marijuana.
The laws do not legalize marijuana and tax stamps are rarely found on actual
in 2005 became the latest state to adopt a marijuana tax program.
Postal Museum has deaccessioned* a large holding of duplicate
revenue stamps that include
documentary stamps with a marijuana overprint that were never issued by the
Bureau of Internal Revenue. In February 2005
approximately 5000 of these stamps were sold at auction to the highest
bidder. Officially never issued for use these stamps were generated in
response to marijuana's classification as a narcotic in 1937.
*Deaccessioning" is museum terminology for removing
objects from the national collection. In this case it means destroying
postal history to increase the value of what it sells.
REGISTER TO VOTE
ERRORS FREAKS AND
ODDITIES ON UNITED STATES POSTAGE STAMPS
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