Saturday, December 05, 2009

Republican Proposes Tax Hike

Colorado’s Republican Attorney General, John Suthers, has filed an opinion that could well result in getting more revenue in his state’s coffers: it is OK, in his book, to charge state and local sales tax on medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana is available in fourteen states due to passage of state constitutional amendments (as in Colorado’s case) or other vehicles.

Users of medical marijuana do so for a variety of health complaints that stem all the way from hypertension to HIV. This was a surprise to me. As far as I knew, it was for people who are undergoing chemotherapy because it alleviates the nausea that is a side effect of the treatment.

At first glance, this whole thing seems a little harsh but the AG has a point. While putting a sales tax on prescription drugs seems cruel and insensitive (which is why prescription drugs are not taxed), the AG points out that medical marijuana is not a prescribed drug.

Its consumption is merely “suggested” by doctors.

The potential for increased revenue is huge. This site has listed the top 10 states where marijuana is used (legally or illegally) and lists in order the potential revenues each state could garner. California (where medical marijuana is legal) leads the pack with a total projected revenue of $105 million. Texas (where medical marijuana is not legal) is in fourth place at $46.6 million.

And who knows where else this could lead.

The possibilities seem limitless.

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