Sweetening the Pot: Taxing Medical Marijuana Reaps Benefits in San Jose

May 16th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

Sodas. Tanning. Wine. Hookers.

In the scramble to raise revenues, city, state and federal governments have considered slapping taxes on nearly everything they can figure that qualifies as a vice. While some of those efforts have been derided (remember criticisms of the fat tax?) and subsequently derailed, a few of these sin taxes have been pushed through. As it turns out, some of them have also been quite lucrative. Just ask the City of San Jose.

According to the Sacramento Bee, San Jose is reaping rewards from taxing medical marijuana collectives. Recent figures from the finance department indicate that the new 7% tax brought in $290,000 in the first month the tax was imposed.  Annualized, that’s nearly $3.5 million. Not a bad way to put a dent in the city’s $115 million budget deficit.

Of course, I know what you’re thinking. Medical marijuana isn’t really a vice and so maybe lumping it together with sin taxes isn’t quite fair.  But while isn’t couched as a vice inside the medical community, you and I both realize that it’s not treated the same as other medications. Distributing marijuana, while legal in 16 states for medical purposes (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana,  Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont,Virginia, Washington), is still technically illegal on the federal level. And, even when states choose to qualify marijuana as a legal drug for medical purposes, they may still impose a tax on marijuana taxed when other medicines

Article source: http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb/2011/05/16/sweetening-the-pot-taxing-medical-marijuana-reaps-benefits-in-san-jose/