Pay taxes on pot
April 12, 2007
EDITORIAL, Pasadena Star-News
Because of its weird quasi-legal status, the burgeoning medical-marijuana industry has been allowed to escape oversight and tax.
Marijuana was approved for medical use more than a decade ago; it is only now that the state Board of Equalization has started requiring the 150 to 200 medical-marijuana retailers in the state to pay sales taxes.
Let's face facts: It's not simply the narrow band of individuals with medically justified conditions who are buying their pot at these dispensaries. And that's why it's right for them to pay the same sales tax as any other retail business and why there's a good argument to be made that medical-marijuana dispensaries ought to pay an extra tax to pay for the regulation that's not happening now.
Clearly California is moving toward decriminalizing marijuana. And for that reason, retailers must be treated the same as any legitimate business, and that means paying their fair share of taxes.