MARIJUANA TAX STAMPS
At its inception the
United States encouraged the agricultural production of hemp for its
tensile strength in making cloth, ropes and sails and it wasn't until
after WW2 that the US stopped licensing farmers to grow hemp and 1969
before its taxation ended.
government had originally included marijuana among 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.
It seems marijuana was used by turn of the century drug companies in
creams and ointments that they manufactured. There argument was that
marijuana is non habit forming and thus not a narcotic.
The Marijuana Tax Act
of 1937 classified marihuana a controlled substance and imposed
an annual occupational tax on
medical practitioners requiring them to display a Special tax stamp
to prescribe marijuana products. Needless to say most doctors and
dentists stopped using products covered by this law. Order forms
were used to keep a record of what and how much was used and calculate
the tax with stamps recording the payment. The stamp aspect of the act
was never truly implemented and few examples of used stamps exist.
In 2004 the National Postal Museum deaccessioned a large holding of
revenue stamps that included a group with a marijuana overprint that were
never officially issued for use by the IRS. Some stamps are known to have
been used, also some were stolen from the Smithsonian in the 1970s. These
documentary stamps would have been affixed to manufacturing and
distribution documents. In
February 2005 approximately 5000 of these stamps were sold at auction to
the highest bidder. There are eight different stamps with three also
The liberty documentary series w/o date
the one, five and ten dollar stamps were sold both
perforated and imperforate. Also sold were serial numbered one hundred
dollar stamps with receipt tabs.
In the 1940 documentary issue the
one, five and ten dollar stamps were all issued perforated. The fifty
dollar Guthrie like the hundred dollar liberty stamps were issued in panes
of four. The panes are imperforate at the top, bottom and right side;
therefore, single copies are always imperforate on one or two sides.
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ERRORS FREAKS AND
ODDITIES ON UNITED STATES POSTAGE STAMPS