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During the administration of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932–1945), the United States saw its first federal-level efforts to control cannabis as a drug.

While Roosevelt is known for his opposition to prohibition of alcohol, which was repealed in 1933 with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, in a 1935 radio address he also advocated that the United States apply the rulings of the International Opium Convention, which along with opiates also restricted the non-medicinal use of cannabis.[1]

Federal Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger garnered support from the president and Congress for the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, which was signed by Roosevelt and took effect on 1 October, 1937.[2]


  1. ^ Mark A. R. Kleiman; James E. Hawdon (12 January 2011). Encyclopedia of Drug Policy. SAGE Publications. p. 620. ISBN 978-1-5063-3824-8.
  2. ^ Vick (22 October 2010). Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior, and Policy. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7637-7488-2.