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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Colorado and Medical Marijuana

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colorado and Medical Marijuana

From the Denver Post (Tim Hoover, "Suthers: Medical marijuana dispensaries subject to sales tax, retail license laws")via the Drudge Report,
Attorney General John Suthers said in a legal opinion released late today that the sale of medical marijuana is subject to taxation.

Responding to a query from Gov. Bill Ritter's office, Suthers, a Republican, said, "Medical marijuana is tangible property that is generally subject to state sales tax."

The opinion also said medical marijuana dispensaries must obtain retail sales licenses from the state.

Medical marijuana advocates applauded the opinion as a step in the right direction, saying the industry had been working on proposals to enact some sort of tax.

"I think the community is willing to pay taxes if it will help prove the legitimacy of their efforts," said Courtney Tanning, executive director of the Colorado Wellness Association, which represents medical marijuana dispensaries and the patients and doctors that deal with them.

"It (medical marijuana) has been an underground, black market community for so long that I think they're really willing to come out and pay dues to be taken seriously."

14 comments:

  1. Why has it not been taxed until now (you have to have a prescription for it, right?)?

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  2. Eathan Langdale22/11/09 6:31 PM

    This sounds like it could be a good idea. Since it has been illegally sold for so long on the black market, I think it will be beneficial for government efforts to collect some sort tax from the legal sale of medical marijuana finally.

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  3. Mikel Caddell1/12/09 4:02 PM

    I feel that placing a tax on medical marijuana is a good thing. People will take the legalizing of marijuana more seriously if they are required to pay a tax on it just as they would any other medical prescription. I feel that, by being taxed, more will see medical marijuana as an actual aid in the healing process instead of being somewhat skeptical and seeing it as just a more legal way of getting high.

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  4. Cameron Dorsett2/12/09 2:39 AM

    I agree totally with the taxation of medical marijuana. It could be a significant step in reducing state debts and taking away some of the skepticism surrounding the issue. Sure, this brings the selling of marijuana somewhat out of the black market but, I think governments should take further steps in regulating its sell. There are just too many stories about the sell of medical marijuana being a crooked practice.

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  5. Cameron Dorsett2/12/09 2:43 AM

    ***I agree totally with the taxation of medical marijuana. It could be a significant step in reducing state debts and taking away some of the skepticism surrounding the issue. Sure, it would bring the selling of marijuana somewhat out of the black market but, I think governments should take further steps in regulating its sale. Basically, keep a closer eye on dispensaries. There are just too many stories about the sale of medical marijuana being a crooked practice.***

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  6. Kayla Neumann2/12/09 6:33 PM

    I strongly agree with the taxation of medical marijuana. Many people will eventually see that Marijuana isn't just something to get high off of, but it can also help and heal the body. If other prescriptions have to be taxed then why shouldn't marijuana? If people are so desperate for marijuana then they should have to pay an extra fee and be taxed as well. Maybe then, our society today will take the legalizing of marijuana more seriously.

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  7. Zach Dickerson2/12/09 6:44 PM

    I agree with the taxation of marijuana. I think it could help the economy but it's still be sold on the black market. For this to actually help the economy, marijuana would have to be legalized all over America and this will never happen.

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  8. Bryce Conner2/12/09 9:52 PM

    The taxation on medical marijuana would be a great economical stimulus. Putting a tax on it would help solidify it as a legitimate prescription. Those who truly need it for healing purposes will not mind paying a tax, as you must do on other medical prescriptions.

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  9. Justified Tax…
    I think by placing a tax on medical marijuana it will help people look at it as a treatment being more justified. By placing the tax it will also help the skeptical patience from just using the medical marijuana as just a legal way of getting high. Also if every other prescription has a tax then so should medical marijuana, it shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other prescription medicine.

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  10. J. Chrissy Tuel5/12/09 4:44 PM

    this sounds like a very interesting idea... i do agree with putting a tax on medical marijuanna. It might be an excellent way to stimulate the economies of different states who decide to pass it.

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  11. libby sullivan9/12/09 11:56 PM

    Good idea or not, what I find most fascinating about taxing medical marijuana is the government's wonderful hypocrisy. They fight at every turn to keep this drug illegal, and when a small portion of its sales becomes legitimate, the government immediately has its hands in the "pot." It begs the question, is marijuana illegal because the government truly cares about the well-being of its citizens? Or, is this all a question of money and taxation? Of course medical marijuana ought to be taxed; and as a first step in its legitimacy, this could mean the advancement of the pro-marijuana legalization's agenda. I have come around to believe that strictly as a medicinal tool, the drug should be available. (A catch-22 still exists, however: while certain states have legalized its medicinal use, the federal government still has certain powers to raid pharmacies selling it.)However, legalization is a slippery slope--first for medicinal use, then for recreational use, and then other drugs follow. And if the government truly is more interested in profits than people's well-being, imagine the taxation they could implement if every drug were let loose on the free market.

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