The preparatory work was done ahead of time by Oliphant and his team, explaining the ‘facts’ of the matter to lawmakers, and elaborating that they were not seeking the out-and-out banning of marijuana, rather, they intend to tax it so it will be beyond the means of common abusers to procure it. A transfer tax of $1 would be charged for every ounce that an authorized dealer procures. A penalty amount of $100 would meanwhile be charged on any unregistered dealers, as a deterrent measure against unscrupulous traders. They neglect however to mention that they had effectively frozen any new issuance of marijuana trading licenses for dealers.

In another surprising twist, instead of Agricultural or Drugs related Committees, Oliphant introduced the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee, as the committee was headed by Committee Chairman, Robert Doughton, whom records show, has been the recipient of regular campaign contributions from Dupont. Unsurprisingly, the Committee immediately approved the proposed bill and sent it to Congress.

However, a notable incident occurred prior to voting for the bill in Congress, during the oral discussion stage. Answering a question from the floor, the Kentucky Representative and member of the House’s Ways And Means Committee, Frederick Moore Vinson (who will later be rewarded with the Mellon’s position after World War II), stated that the American Medical Association, has communicated their complete agreement of the Act through its representative, a certain Dr. Wharton.

There were two problems with the statement. First, there was no Dr. Wharton. The only American Medical Association representative present during the closed Committee level hearings was Dr. William G, Woodward, their general Counsel. It was later reported that Dr. Woodward categorically denied making any supportive remarks over the bill, whether for the Association or in a personal capacity.

In fact, Dr. Woodward, who was a practicing physician himself, was quoted as saying during the hearings, “We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared.”

He intimated that the Association only received noticed of the hearings two days before the date and during the hearing he went as far as to say that the entire bill was not supported by any independent facts, apart from sensationalist newspaper reporting that was patently inappropriate. Anslinger quickly dismissed Dr. Woodward from the hearing. Clearly upset, Dr. Woodward followed up with a letter to the committee which was also released to the public. In the letter, he stated, "The obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on the medicinal use as to prevent such use altogether... It may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value". How prophetic.


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