Also lobbying against the Tax Act with all its energy was the National Oil Seed Institute, representing the high-quality machine lubrication producers as well as paint manufacturers. Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1937, their general counsel, Ralph Loziers, testified eloquently about the hempseed oil that was to be, in effect, outlawed:
“Respectable authorities tell us that in the Orient, at least 200 million people use this drug; and when we take into consideration that for hundreds, yes, thousands of years, practically that number of people have been using this drug. It is significant that in Asia and elsewhere in the Orient, where poverty stalks abroad on every hand and where they draw on all the plant resources which a bountiful nature has given that domain – it is significant that none of those 200 million people has ever, since the dawn of civilization, been found using the seed of this plant or using the oil as a drug.
“Now, if there were any deleterious properties or principles in the seed or oil, it is reasonable to suppose that these Orientals, who have been reaching out in their poverty for something that would satisfy their morbid appetite, would have discovered it….
“If the committee please, the hempseed, or the seed of the cannabis sativa l., is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing that for many generations, especially in periods of famine….The point I make is this – that this bill is too all inclusive. This bill is a world encircling measure. This bill brings the activities – the crushing of this great industry under the supervision of a bureau – which may mean its suppression. Last year, there was imported into the U.S. 62,813,000 pounds of hempseed. In 1935 there was imported 116 million pounds…”