Before cannabis became federally illegal, American Medical Association stood up for its use and against its prohibition.
Before the subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance adjourned its hearing on cannabis taxation on July 12, 1937, prior to passing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, this final letter was entered into the record. The bill was passed into law and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug. 2, 1937. Once the law took effect, Samuel R. Caldwell, 58, an unemployed laborer who sold cannabis, and Moses Baca, 26, his customer, became the first two men sentenced to prison for distribution and possession under federal law. Caldwell served four years of hard labor in Leavenworth Penitentiary; Baca was incarcerated for 18 months.