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UNITED STATES V. SHELLEY, 229 U. S. 239 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Shelley, 229 U.S. 239 (1913)

United States v. Shelley

No. 943

Argued April 11, 1913

Decided May 26, 1913

229 U.S. 239


The mere mixing of smoking opium with the residue of opium that has been smoked, and heating the same, is not a manufacture of opium for smoking purpose within the meaning of § 36 of McKinley Tariff Law of October 1, 1890.

Criminal statutes ought not to be extended by construction.

A statute which is primarily designed as a taxing act to raise revenue on, and not one to suppress the manufacture of, a specified article will not be construed so as to subject the same substance more than once to the tax ,or to require surveillance over places where the secondary treatment is conducted as well a over the factory of primary manufacture.

The prohibition against manufacturing smoking opium under § 36 of the Tariff Act of 1890 is not more extensive than the clause taxing the article, and if the article produced is not taxable thereunder, there is no violation thereof in its production.

The facts, which involve the construction of provisions of § 36 of the McKinley Tariff Law in regard to the manufacture of opium, are stated in the opinion.

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