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Marijuana

Los Angeles Wants To Tax Medical Marijuana, Even Though It's Supposed To Be A Nonprofit Industry

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Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 9:01 AM

click to enlarge This green could mean paper green for the city of L.A. - THEMADPOTHEAD VIA FLICKR
  • themadpothead via Flickr
  • This green could mean paper green for the city of L.A.
Should the city of L.A. tax your medical weed? In these hard times, it could certainly use the cash. But would it be legal?

After all, the state's medical marijuana law didn't really anticipate the kind of for-profit pot sales that L.A. dispensaries are known for. Under the law cannabis was really supposed to be shared among "seriously ill" members of nonprofit "collectives."

In L.A. that notion has been stretched to the legal limit -- so far that District Attorney Steve Cooley has said almost all the dispensaries in the city are illegal. So the city's going to tax that?

Yep, says Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who proposed $50 in city sales taxes on every $1,000 of "cash and in-kind contributions" to dispensaries for pot.

The council voted 9-3 to put the matter before voters in March, although it will have to affirm the decision with one more vote Nov. 17.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Pete Echeverria told the council it's a bad idea: " ... It's

(the City Attorney's Office's) position that the city should not allow and tax marijuana sales, which would basically amount to a sanctioning of illegal activity.''

What do you think? Tax it or not?

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

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