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  • American Cannabis Report Editorial Staff

The Ignored Wisdom of Dr. William C. Woodward

Dr. William Creighton Woodward, M.D., LL.M., LL.D., served as legal counsel to the American Medical Association from 1922 to 1939. In his testimony before Congress in the infamous 1937 "Marihuana Tax Act" hearings, where he represented the medical community, Dr. Woodward clearly stated his disagreement with the prejudiced tactics and conclusions of Harry Anslinger.

“There is nothing in the medicinal use of Cannabis that has any relation to Cannabis addiction. I use the word ‘Cannabis’ in preference to the word ‘marihuana’, because Cannabis is the correct term for describing the plant and its products….

In other words, marihuana is not the correct term.

It was the use of the term ‘marihuana’ rather than the use of the term ‘Cannabis’ or the use of the term ‘Indian hemp’ that was responsible, as you realized, probably, a day or two ago, for the failure of the dealers in Indian hempseed to connect up this bill with their business until rather late in the day.

So, if you will permit me, I shall use the word ‘Cannabis’, and I should certainly suggest that if any legislation is enacted, the term used be ‘Cannabis’ and not the mongrel word ‘marihuana.’

~ from Taxation of Marihuana, hearings before the House Committee on Ways and Means, 75th Cong., lst Sess. (April 27-30 and May 4, 1937), as quoted on Doctors for Cannabis Regulation website

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