You are here

1937 Senate Testimony

Attached is testimony from 1937 before a subcommittee in front of the United States Senate.  It is a statement of Royal C. Johnson, a lawyer from WashingtonDC, who represents Chempsco, Inc, of Winona, Minnesota, and Hemp Chemical Corporation, of Mankato, Minnesota.

In it, he says, “We have no dispute whatever with Mr. Hester and Mr. Anslinger or the Government.”

{This is where I beg to differ.  I do have dispute, because the government has never given enough information to justify placing marijuana into Schedule I.}

Royal C. Johnson points out the leaves and seeds as the parts of the plant that contain marijuana.  He didn’t know at that time that the flower top was used.  He indicates that the fiber they’re interested in is used for fine papers, condenser tissues, Bible paper, and all other types of fine papers, including cigarette papers.

What we know is that the paper is virtually indestructible, and that it can get wet, and when it dries it retains its same strength as before.

He says, in 1937, “I can readily visualize without much difficulty 25,000 or 30,000, or 40,000 acres of hemp […].” 

Mr. Johnson continues,

Now, as a matter of fact the people making paper, and the finest grades of paper, which you cannot make in this country without the use of hemp at the present time, and which is being imported–even a great deal of the paper that goes into our money is being imported–must have hemp fiber.  It is just a ridiculous situation, because it can be made out of our local products in this country.  The paper manufacturer, when he gets the plant, simply blows these leaves away.  They disappear when dried.  They are gone.  As a matter of fact these people in Minnesota did not know until 2 months ago that the hemp which they grew there contained marihuana.  Until this agitation came up, they did not dream of it, and they were as much surprised as anyone else.

Our client, Mr. Hansen, contests the governments ability to take this plant.  He asserts that Minnesota has preserved the right of the farmer when it passed the Farmer’s Amendment after the turn of the last century.

More importantly, he asks you to look at the industries that have benefitted from the absence of hemp/cannabis: paper, plastics, coal, and more.

The farmer had the right to peddle this product, and it was improperly taken from the farmers and gardeners of this state.

In this age when we are looking for economic development, it is absolutely ridiculous that we cannot grow this product that can help in so many diverse arenas, from commercial application, to food, to an effective medicine that helps to eliminate cigarette smoking, alcohol use, reduce motor vehicle accidents, to cut down on dangerous prescribed drugs, with dangerous side effects, and to prevent suicide from those who suffer the debilitating effects of depression.

Please read this testimony.  It is time we revisit this issue.




Tags: minnesota medical marijuana United States Senate