United States v. Doremus, No. 367

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtDAY
Citation39 S.Ct. 214,63 L.Ed. 493,249 U.S. 86
Docket NumberNo. 367
Decision Date03 March 1919
PartiesUNITED STATES v. DOREMUS

249 U.S. 86
39 S.Ct. 214
63 L.Ed. 493
UNITED STATES

v.

DOREMUS.

No. 367.
Submitted Jan. 16, 1919.
Decided March 3, 1919.

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Porter and Mr. W. C. Herron, of Washington, D. C., for the United States.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 86-89 intentionally omitted]

Page 89

Mr. Justice DAY delivered the opinion of the Court.

Doremus was indicted for violating section 2 of the so-called Harrison Narcotic Drug Act. Act Dec. 17, 1914, c. 1, 38 Stat. 785 (6 U. S. Comp. Stat. 1916, § 6287g). Upon demurrer to the indictment the District Court held the section unconstitutional for the reason that it was not a revenue measure, and was an invasion of the police power reserved to the state. 246 Fed. 958. The case is here under the Criminal Appeals Act March 2, 1907, c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246 (Comp. St. § 1704).

Page 90

There are ten counts in the indictment. The first two were treated by the court below as sufficient to raise the constitutional question decided. The first count in substance charges that: Doremus, a physician, duly registered, and who had paid the tax required by the first section of the act, did unlawfully, fraudulently, and knowingly sell and give away and distribute to one Ameris a certain quantity of heroin, to wit, five hundred one-sixth grain tablets of heroin, a derivative of opium, the sale not being in pursuance of a written order on a form issued on the blank furnished for that purpose by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

The second count charges in substance that: Doremus did unlawfully and knowingly sell, dispense and distribute to one Ameris five hundred one-sixth grain tablets of heroin not in the course of the regular professional practice of Doremus and not for the treatment of any disease from which Ameris was suffering but as was well known by Doremus, Ameris was addicted to the use of the drug as a habit, being a person popularly known as a 'dope fiend,' and that Doremus did sell, dispense, and distribute the drug, heroin, to Ameris for the purpose of gratifying his appetite for the drug as an habitual user thereof.

Section 1 of the act (section 6287g) requires persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or cocoa leaves or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative or preparation thereof, to register with the collector of internal revenue of the district his name or style, place of business, and place or places where such business is to be carried on. At the time of such registry every person who produces, imports, manufactures, compounds, deals in, dispenses, sells, distributes, or gives away any of the said drugs is required to pay to the collector a special tax of $1 per annum. It is made unlawful for any person required to register

Page 91

under the terms of the act to produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away any of the said drugs without having registered and paid the special tax provided in the act.

Section 2 (section 6287h) provides in part:

'It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, barter, exchange, or give away any of the aforesaid drugs except in pursuance of a written order of the person to whom such article is sold, bartered, exchanged, or given, on a form to be issued in blank for that purpose by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Every person who shall accept any such order, and in pursuance thereof shall sell, barter, exchange, or give away any of the aforesaid drugs, shall preserve such order for a period of two years in such a way as to be readily accessible to inspection by any officer, agent, or employee of the Treasury Department duly authorized for that purpose, and the state, territorial, district, municipal, and insular officials named in section five of this act. Every person who shall give an order as herein provided to any other person for any of the aforesaid drugs shall, at or before the time of giving such order, make or cause to be made a duplicate thereof on a form to be issued in blank for that purpose by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and in case of the acceptance of such order, shall preserve such duplicate for a period of two years in such a way as to be readily accessible to inspection by the officers, agents, employees, and officials hereinbefore mentioned. Nothing...

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151 practice notes
  • Atlas Roofing Co., Inc. v. Occupational Safety Health Review Com'n, No. 73-2249
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 8, 1975
    ...unions held within regulatory power of State to control union racketeering, not additional punishment); United States v. Doremus, 1919, 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (provisions of Narcotic Drug Act for subjecting the sale and distribution of drugs to official supervision and insp......
  • Union Packing Co. v. Rogan, No. 1071.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • January 21, 1937
    ...it will not be stricken down by a searching inquiry into the motives which may have induced its enactment. United States v. Doremus (1919) 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493; A. Magnano Co. v. Hamilton (1934) 292 U.S. 40, 44, 54 S.Ct. 599, 601, 78 L.Ed. In the realm of income taxation,......
  • U.S. v. Moore, No. 73-1192
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • February 18, 1975
    ...16 The government cites cases such as United States v. Behrman, 258 U.S. 280, 42 S.Ct. 303, 66 L.Ed. 619 (1921); United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (1919); Linder v. United States, 268 U.S. 5, 45 S.Ct. 446, 69 L.Ed. 819 (1925). See Appellee's Brief at 17 254 U......
  • United Sttaes v. Cortés–Cabán, Nos. 09–2094
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 10, 2012
    ...trafficking that occurred outside legally authorized entities, persons, or chains. See generally 38 Stat. 785; United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 90–95, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (1919) (discussing Harrison Act's regulation of drugs and upholding the Act on grounds that it did not exce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
148 cases
  • Atlas Roofing Co., Inc. v. Occupational Safety Health Review Com'n, No. 73-2249
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 8, 1975
    ...unions held within regulatory power of State to control union racketeering, not additional punishment); United States v. Doremus, 1919, 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (provisions of Narcotic Drug Act for subjecting the sale and distribution of drugs to official supervision and insp......
  • Union Packing Co. v. Rogan, No. 1071.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • January 21, 1937
    ...it will not be stricken down by a searching inquiry into the motives which may have induced its enactment. United States v. Doremus (1919) 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493; A. Magnano Co. v. Hamilton (1934) 292 U.S. 40, 44, 54 S.Ct. 599, 601, 78 L.Ed. In the realm of income taxation,......
  • U.S. v. Moore, No. 73-1192
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • February 18, 1975
    ...16 The government cites cases such as United States v. Behrman, 258 U.S. 280, 42 S.Ct. 303, 66 L.Ed. 619 (1921); United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (1919); Linder v. United States, 268 U.S. 5, 45 S.Ct. 446, 69 L.Ed. 819 (1925). See Appellee's Brief at 17 254 U......
  • United Sttaes v. Cortés–Cabán, Nos. 09–2094
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 10, 2012
    ...trafficking that occurred outside legally authorized entities, persons, or chains. See generally 38 Stat. 785; United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 90–95, 39 S.Ct. 214, 63 L.Ed. 493 (1919) (discussing Harrison Act's regulation of drugs and upholding the Act on grounds that it did not exce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Recycling Is Rubbish: Reinvent, Realign, and Restructure U.S. Material Management
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 52-7, July 2022
    • July 1, 2022
    ...Taxes , https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f6627.pdf (rev. Jan. 2022) [hereinafter Form 6627 ]. 220. See United States v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 93 (1919): [T]he fact that other motives may impel the exercise of federal taxing power does not authorize the courts to inquire into that subject. If......
  • A Political-Economic Solution of the Coal Problem
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 3-4, December 1950
    • December 1, 1950
    ...Coals, Inc. v. United States, 288 U. S. 344 (1933). 16 Hall, op. cit., pp. 12-15. 17 259 U. S. 20 (1922). 18 United States v. Doremus, 249 U. S. 86 (1919); Sonzinsky v. United States, 300 U. S. 506 Constitution must be apportioned among the states according to popula-tion, for it &dquo;is a......
  • The Trend Toward Federal Centralization
    • United States
    • ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Nbr. 113-1, May 1924
    • May 1, 1924
    ...individual16 Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 1869, 8 Wall. 533.17 McCray v. United States, 1905, 195 U. S. 29.18 United States v. Doremus, 1919, 249 U. S. 86. 177THE TREND TOWARD FEDERAL CENTRALIZATIONand corporate welfare. The same istrue of the Department of Labor orthe Department of Commerce.The e......

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