Cannabis News Media Awareness Project
  CA in Bid To Impose 7.25% Sales Tax on Cannabis
Posted by CN Staff on April 09, 2007 at 13:08:06 PT
By Craig Howie, in Los Angeles 
Source: Scotsman UK 

medical California -- For decades, smoking marijuana has been an illicit affair, a key anti-establishment ritual for America's counter-culture underground.

But the legalisation of the drug for medicinal purposes in California has presented its advocates with a dilemma: to remain firmly on the wrong side of the law or accept a demand to pay taxes on its sale.

Marijuana prescribed by a doctor for health reasons was decriminalised in a state-wide referendum in 1996 and has grown into a billion-dollar industry.

About 25,000 patients and carers are now members of the so-called pot clubs.

Chris Moscone, an attorney who represents the Hemp Centre, a San Francisco dispensary, said: "There are basically two camps: those that want to be treated like legitimate businesses, and the other side, who are still rebels and don't want to be taxed."

The situation is further clouded by differences between federal and state law. California's 150 to 200 owners of medicinal marijuana dispensaries have operated legally under state law since 1996 - but illegally under federal law.

And while a demand from state authorities to pay tax is seen by some as further legitimising their business in terms of the state laws, many dispensary owners fear the tax is self-incriminating and will result in punitive measures from the federal government.

The dispensaries have received a state notice urging them to obtain a sales permit for tax reasons. Every purchase of marijuana, which can be bought with a doctor's prescription, would be subject to California's 7.25 per cent sales tax.

But there appears to be substantial resistance among dispensaries to the idea - only 27 dispensary owners currently have a sales permit.

But financial considerations rather than counter-culture affectation may be the reason. Kris Hermes, of Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, said more dealers would probably agree to pay the tax if the bill did not include a provision for back taxes on sales over the past eight years.

The federal Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, introduced by Harry Anslinger, an anti-cannabis campaigner and commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, stipulated anyone dealing in the substance had to pay one dollar for each trade, or be fined up to $2,000. This effectively criminalised dealers and led to a nationwide crackdown.

In 1970, federal authorities recognised cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.

Last year, the Supreme Court upheld federal authority to prosecute the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The state of California, however, decriminalised marijuana in 1976 and the 1996 Compassionate Use Act established its use for conditions including cancer, MS and AIDS.

Complete Title: California in Bid to Impose 7.25% Sales Tax on Cannabis

Source: Scotsman (UK)
Author: Craig Howie, in Los Angeles
Published: April 9, 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Scotsman Publications Ltd

Related Article & Web Site:

Americans for Safe Access

Some Aren't Stoked About New Tax

CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #24 posted by whig on April 11, 2007 at 14:03:48 PT
Matthew 8:12, and we are healed.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #23 posted by Hope on April 11, 2007 at 13:06:11 PT
Spam is awful. I don't understand why they do it.

Surely no one ever responds to it.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #22 posted by Hope on April 11, 2007 at 13:03:50 PT
"scratching an itch under my ear with my jaw"

I have TMJ...and just thinking about doing such a thing reminds me of so much pain!

If I'd ever seen you do that...I'd have realized you had it bad.

The worst...and there was a lot of "worst"...was something that would happen that I called "a train wreck in my mouth". It was extremely unpleasant. At night or just anytime I might be relaxing or not paying attention to it. My jaws would relax and then somehow slip into a position where they were misaligned, like if you stuck your lower jaw out sideways and then clamped your teeth...with the bottom teeth locked against the side of the teeth in the upper jaw...and they'd apparently hit a point when they reflexively wanted to jerk back in place...hence the train teeth crashing, screaking, scraping, and gnashing against each other with such power...reflexive of some sort...but strong...sometimes chipping and cracking enamel and always painful. It was just scary.

Bite plate. Massage. And learning not to grit and grind my teeth. I made a practice of trying to keep my teeth just barely apart. It's helped. I don't even use a bite plate anymore and only occasionally have trouble with it.

I'm glad you are getting a handle on it. It can get better...but it takes a long time.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by Toker00 on April 10, 2007 at 11:29:01 PT
Thanks, Hope.
Nice explanation. Makes sense to me.

When will we have to decide whether to keep our Constitutional Republic or bow to Fascism? When Bush'coup attacks Iran with nuclear weapons and sends all of our soldiers "OVER THERE" and our streets will be patrolled by light blue helmets of the U.N. and black uniforms of Bush/Cheney constracted Blackwater Securitary. The enemies of our Constitution will become crystal clear. What will we do then? Toke.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by whig on April 10, 2007 at 09:41:39 PT
I'm doing much better, thank you. I had so much pain for so long and I was gritting my teeth against it, perhaps, but in the end I wound up with tremendous head and jaw pain which turned out (according to the otolaryngologist) to be rooted in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Once I had this diagnosis and he explained what I was doing -- clenching, and what felt to me kind of like scratching an itch under my ear with my jaw -- I simply stopped doing it. It's been a few months and it is considerably improved. I still get some headache when I lie down, but if I have a little cannabis before bedtime I can sleep without difficulty. I think this TMJ problem is the cause of a lot of illness, including perhaps Meniere's disease -- and cannabis treats it.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #19 posted by Hope on April 10, 2007 at 07:38:03 PT
I'm so glad you moved out there. Your health has improved drastically. You can see that in your posts....whether you say anything about your health or not.

Heck...we even thought you were unconcious or dead one time!

Your glowing now. It's visible in your words.

Have your headaches improved?

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by Hope on April 10, 2007 at 07:35:44 PT
You could have gotten on their spam list by just doing some sort of search, even on another site, for ancestors, or really, even if you typed in the word "military" somewhere.

For some reason, one time, I did a search for that painting of "Poker playing dogs". Wow! I was spammed for months with gambling sites! One still comes in occasionally. As it is, I'm plagued with Drug and narcotic spam, criminal justice spam, re-hab spam....arggh.

If you use your mail at all, there seems to be no getting away from the repercussions of typing or searching for certain words. You type a word in search...then open your mail...within thirty minutes or'll see the repercussions. The only way not to see it, without special tech hoo-dooing, is to not open the mailbox.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by Toker00 on April 10, 2007 at 04:43:17 PT
God is Good.
In God We Trust. Thou shalt not Kill. What part of this doesn't any Nation under God understand?

In God We Trust. Thou shalt not Steal. Comprehend?

In God We Trust. Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor. That would be anyone not related to you. And you sure wouldn't bare false witness against your family, now would you? Hhmm?

In God We Trust. In God We Trust. One Nation under God. One Nation Under God. How about one Universe under God?

Someone dropped one of the O's in God's name a long time ago. It should be Good. Now who could have done that? (Glances sideways at Satan) You little...

I'm talking about the God that Created Man, not the God that Man Created...


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by Toker00 on April 10, 2007 at 04:16:58 PT
These maggots are relentless.
I recieved this E-mail unsolicited and unblocked by Spam. I will report it as Spam. Commercialized, Endless War. There is something wrong with this method of recruitment. IMHO. Check out the shock and awe of the last paragraph. Glorifying the Tools of Satan. F*ck the Military. ALL OF THEM. The only True Military of this country will be the ones who pick up guns to defend the Constitution of the People when our economy collapses. Communism is poised to take it's place if we don't. NWO Communism. Democracy. Defended or Ended. Right Wing: Fascism. Left Wing: Communism. Stabilizer: Re-enforced Constitutional Republic. It's time to replace the government of the United States of America with REAL Americans.

America. Home of the Hated. And well deserved Hatred.

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Comment #15 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on April 10, 2007 at 01:39:27 PT
Render unto George what is George's, Dr Ganj
Harrison that is.

George Harrison wrote Taxman.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by whig on April 10, 2007 at 00:20:25 PT
sales tax
I think the dispensaries are going to have to suck up and pay the sales tax, to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's (money).

The sticking point seems to be the eight years retroactive tax they want, and whether those dispensaries which may have been operating on thin margin have the ability to pay such a back tax is questionable. Maybe it's not a problem for some, but for others it means an unaffordable debt.

I keep changing my own mind on this, I know. I don't claim to have a complete perspective, but those who know more what the impact might be are not going to be able to say as much, because they certainly couldn't discuss the situation without possibly admitting to possible federal charges.

So if I seem unusually full of BS on this issue, I probably am. I just don't know what the right thing to do is but I do know that some dispensaries are going to be paying the tax and I don't want them to cease to be able to serve the community.

What I want and what I have a reasonable expectation of getting may be two different things. I might make unreasonable demands sometimes, because compromise requires that I be willing to let some of my preferences go.

And I do have to compromise. I cannot be married and not compromise. I want cannabis to be set free. I will leave it to others to complete that task. For myself, I am happy to carry it as far as I have and recognize when I am doing less good than harm by pushing further. And so, I will withdraw now, I think, and let matters follow their course.

Love to all.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Dr Ganj on April 09, 2007 at 22:45:44 PT
Taxes On Black Market Priced Marijuana?
I don't have a problem with the sales tax concept. It is a medicinal herb, like valerian root is. It is not a prescribed, purified medication. The problem I have is the state of California is charging sales tax on an item that the price is heavily inflated because it originates from the black market. I can't think of anything in which to compare this. It would be like bootleggers selling whiskey to "alcohol clubs" where the clubs can only sell the whiskey "for medical purposes only". Yet now, the whiskey is $300.00/bottle- because of prohibition, and now the state wants 7.25% tax!

Good marijuana at the clubs in California sells for $300.00 to $400.00 per ounce, when in fact it should be 1/10 that price in a legal market environment. So the customers are really paying 10 times the sales tax they should be paying if it were completely legal.

7.25% x $400.00 = $29.00 verses $2.90

This it not going to go over well with the buying public. Being charged black market prices for cannabis products is bad enough, but having the state of California wanting their share of taxes on already inflated black market prices is truly outrageous.


Title: The Beatles - Taxman lyrics Artist: The Beatles

Let me tell you how it will be; There's one for you, nineteen for me. 'Cause I知 the taxman, Yeah, I知 the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don't take it all. 'Cause I知 the taxman, Yeah, I知 the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I値l tax the street; (if you try to sit, sit;) - I値l tax your seat; (if you get too cold, cold;) - I値l tax the heat; (if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.


'Cause I知 the taxman, Yeah, I知 the taxman.

Don't ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson) If you don't want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath) 'Cause I知 the taxman, Yeah, I知 the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman) Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman) 'Cause I知 the taxman, Yeah, I知 the taxman.

And you're working for no one but me.


[ Post Comment ]
Comment #12 posted by gloovins on April 09, 2007 at 19:29:51 PT
The taxing question
The dispensiary I go to regularly starting sales tax this past Jan 1st. The logic is that it is an herb, a plant & therefore can be taxed. A perscribed medication (like valium, vicodin, etc) is specifically exempt because it is a "pill". For instance melatonin is a pill, but considered a "dietary supplament" & is taxed, but it's a pill still! Doesn't matter, it's not a prescription med. It's so about the money & big pharm knows it & has manipulated to its advantage. Marinol is not taxed, see? Because THAT'S REAL medicine, c'mon, it's from this big "family" corporation. Just follow the $...

& by the way, doesn't this author know that the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was found unconstitutional in 1969 necessitating Congress' scheduling mess in 1970 - LAZY, STUPID JOURNALIST ALERT #1098

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by whig on April 09, 2007 at 18:42:21 PT
and if they stop being sick
because they take their medicine and get well...

Then they still need to be protected so they can stay well, and they will join and help to protect the others.

As I am trying to do.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by whig on April 09, 2007 at 18:40:53 PT
What we have is a system where cannabis from dispensaries in California costs about the same as what it would on the street, from what I am told, however, the quality is controlled and well regulated by the dispensaries that I have visited. Organic produce is what is preferred.

We can do better that what we have, we should not be taking any steps backward from here. Too few people are being served now. Too many people fear persecution and avoid getting the permissions required because they are afraid of self-incrimination.

We need real protections, because we are talking about people who cannot defend themselves. These are sick people, folks!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by whig on April 09, 2007 at 18:36:17 PT
Taxing medicine is inhumane
Medicine is what people require to live. Taxing that making it unaffordable makes people die. If anything it should be subsidized so that poor people can afford medicine. It isn't right that only wealthy people can live.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #8 posted by mayan on April 09, 2007 at 18:02:03 PT
Collect & Protect
If the state of California collects taxes from the dispensaries then the state should protect those dispensaries when the feds move in to harass them.


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Comment #7 posted by Had Enough on April 09, 2007 at 17:55:10 PT
Comment #6

That痴 what I thought too. Medical No , Recreational Yes.

This just backs them further into the corner. If they want to get their tax money, then they will have to re legalize. And they WILL want money.

The establishment is slowly losing.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on April 09, 2007 at 17:41:19 PT
no tax on medical items
Again with the cannabis tax. If it is to be taxed then the state will have to provide absolute protection, not a 努e will try assurance to the business owners, employees, and patrons that they will not be molested or harassed in any way by the Feds or other operatives. If this is medical cannabis, the key word being medical, shouldn稚 medical items not be subjects to a sales tax at all. Only recreational cannabis purchased through a legal sales outlet could be subject to a sales tax. Medical tax NO. Recreational tax OK if reasonable.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 09, 2007 at 16:05:16 PT
charmed quark
Thank you. This is interesting. Cannabis is not approved by the FDA so isn't it really only a medicinal herb like so many other medicinal herbs? I sure don't know. I thought there was a law to allow natural alternative medicine that isn't approved by the FDA under some kind of food law?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on April 09, 2007 at 15:59:27 PT
That's a good question.

The legislator passed a sales tax exemption for medicinal herbs in 2001, but the governor vetoed it. However, if you read the sales tax law, cannabis should be exempt because you need a doctor's recommendation to get it, unlike most herbs.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 09, 2007 at 15:23:36 PT
charmed quark
I have a question. Does California tax medicinal herbs?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by charmed quark on April 09, 2007 at 15:04:01 PT
medicines are exempt from CA tax
"Real" medicines are exempt from the CA sales tax. So this would be reducing cannabis's legitimacy as a medicine.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 09, 2007 at 15:02:08 PT
The Implications Are Astonishing
"In his first television address as a candidate, Bove, who is representing left-wing anti-liberals and environmentalists, called for the establishment of a leftist force that could be a viable alternative to the frail left and the heavy-handed right."

"Left wing anti-liberals and environmentalists"?

"A leftist force that could be a viavle alternative to the frail left and the heavy-handed right"?

Could someone break this down for me.


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