World’s 1st marijuana taxes

The world’s first cannabis taxes were collected in 19th century India, so far as I know, and Dale Gieringer of California NORML, who is way ahead of me on this history, indicates that that is the case.  This chart, from the 1894 Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, is for Bengal, and shows rupees (currency unit, plus subunits)) per ser (about a kilogram), collected at wholesale.   The Bengal model was followed generally elsewhere in British colonial India.

As in Colorado today with bud and trim, different cannabis products were taxed at different rates.   

currency unit formerly used in India and Pakistan, equal to 1/16 [1] rupee. It was subdivided into 4 paisa or 12 pies (thus there were 64 paise in a rupee and 192 pies)…

Thanks to the National Library of Scotland for posting this public domain material.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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