Boggs Act of 1951

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Boggs Act of 1951
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to amend the penalty provisions applicable to persons convicted of violating certain narcotic laws, and for other purposes.
NicknamesMarihuana and Narcotic Law Violators Act of 1951
Enacted bythe 82nd United States Congress
EffectiveNovember 2, 1951
Public lawPub.L. 82–255
Statutes at Large65 Stat. 767
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 3490 by Hale Boggs (DLA) on June 21, 1951
  • Committee consideration by House Ways and Means, Senate Finance
  • Passed the House on July 16, 1951 (Passed)
  • Passed the Senate on October 20, 1951 (Passed)
  • Signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on November 2, 1951

The Boggs Act of 1951 amended the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act and set mandatory sentences for drug convictions. A first offense conviction for marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000.[1][2]


The act was sponsored by Hale Boggs, a Louisiana Democrat.[3] On November 2, 1951, Harry S. Truman signed the act into law.[4]

On January 4, 1952, under the provisions of the act, over 500 were arrested.[2][4]


  1. ^ "Marijuana timeline". PBS. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  2. ^ a b "Nearly 500 Seized In Narcotics Raids Across The Nation. Arrests Here Pass 50 as U. S. Cracks Down on Peddlers Under Toughened Law. Teen-Age Trade Is Target. Officials Hope to Cut Juvenile Addiction. Big Racketeers to Face Indictment". The New York Times. January 5, 1952. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  3. ^ "Backer of Boggs Act Dies at 76". The New York Times. February 14, 1952. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  4. ^ a b Health Instruction Yearbook. 1952.