It would be very hard to have this much margin on both top and bottom without showing some trace of roulettes, evern if it was somewhat misperfed. I cannot recall seeing any roulettes this far off center. And the margins are not equal, the bottom is wider then the top. This stamp would require careful examination of the margins under high power.
Why would a roulette stamp need to be trimmed in the first place? Someone trimming it for a fraudulent reason would have done a much better job with the centering. Very hard for me to believe that it was rouletted so much off line.
That is up to you. I am just saying that to me it cannot be dismissed out of hand. I have not seen the stamp, so I have not looked at the margins under high magnification. And while the imperfs are usually darker, who knows what it started out as 90 years ago. No question that Eric has seen a lot of stamps and may well be correct.
The permanent series of narcotic stamps were initially delivered rouletted - all denominations. Imperfs were first delivered at the request of the Eli Lilly Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. The earliest date that I have recorded by Eli Lilly is February 1, 1925 on an RJA43a. I have both an RJA42a and an RJA44a with date 9-1-27, the earliest recorded dates of imperfs of these additional two stamps.
Lilly began using the 1¢ RJA46a about 1933 and the first use of a higher denomination narcotic stamp by Lilly is the 10¢ (RJA54a) about 1945 and I also have the large size 6¢ (RJA63a) used by Lilly in 1948.
The 25¢ narcotic was a low demand stamp. I have never seen an example used by the Lilly firm, the only firm in the 1920's that used automated machinery for affixing the narcotic stamps to their packages during that decade. It is true that later other firms used the imperfs.
With all of that I would have to agree that the likelihood of a genuine imperf from another firm in 1925 (the date on Jim's stamp) seems unlikely.
The late John C. Ruback, a former president of the American Revenue Association listed the imperf 25¢ as very rare. In his earliest recorded dates for each of the permanent series of narcotic tax stamps, there is a blank, suggesting that he did not have an example in his personal collection. At least one dealer with whom I have spoken has indicated that he has never had an RJA71a.