Tax Relief Proposed for Pot Clubs

Tax Relief Proposed for Pot Clubs
Posted by CN Staff on March 12, 2008 at 14:26:07 PT
By John Upton, The Examiner
Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco, CA -- Medical marijuana sellers across the state would have millions of dollars in unpaid back taxes pardoned in an effort to spare them from bankruptcy and encourage them to pay sales tax under a bill introduced by a San Francisco lawmaker.Although federal rules state that using marijuana is a crime, medical marijuana can be legally sold in California under a state law approved by voters in 1996. It wasn’t until 2005, however, that the California Board of Equalization ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries must pay sales tax.
As a result, many dispensaries that opened before 2005 have “massive” back-tax burdens that could force them out of business, according to Bruce Mirken, a San Francisco-based spokesman for the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project.“A lot of these dispensaries really do want to be responsible citizens and pay taxes as appropriate, but many of them weren’t sure what to do for a long time,” Mirken said.A bill introduced recently by state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, would forgive sales tax debts accrued prior to October 2005 if the marijuana traders register before April 2009 to pay sales tax.Board of Equalization Vice-Chair Betty Yee said it would be “appropriate” to provide amnesty to the dispensaries because they didn’t charge sales tax to their customers before 2005.Yee said although there’s no estimate for the amount of money that is owed by the dispensaries, it would be in the “millions of dollars.” Providing back-tax amnesty to dispensaries that register to pay sales tax could help the state and its municipalities raise an estimated $25 million to $30 million a year in new sales tax receipts, according to Yee.Forgiving dispensaries’ back taxes would encourage them to register to pay sales tax, according to San Francisco-based lawyer Matt Kumin, who represents dispensaries.A total of 31 dispensaries in San Francisco have obtained city permits or applied for permits to operate legally in San Francisco, according to Planning Department official Tara Sullivan, who added that “many more” could be operating without permits.Kevin Reed, who operates a cannabis delivery service in San Francisco, said new patients are given a brochure that explains that marijuana prices include sales tax, but “it’s an area nobody really wants to talk about,” so “we never mention it again.”Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)Author: John Upton, The ExaminerPublished: March 12, 2008Copyright: 2008 San Francisco ExaminerContact: letters sfexaminer.comWebsite: Policy Project Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on March 13, 2008 at 13:22:04 PT
OT-while you're enjoying your high...
....from non-toxic, neuroprotective, vaporized cannabis, be sure to stay away from the microwave popcorn, which contains diacetyl, a compound that turns out to cause debilitating lung disease. wanted to post this in the interest of relative harms of everyday substances.
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 13, 2008 at 12:54:03 PT:
Kalamazoo Gazette: I like this one
Marijuana for pain? It should be an optionThursday, March 13, 2008You may have seen them in front of stores or walking door to door collecting signatures. Perhaps you dismissed them as dope heads, or maybe hippies left over from the '60s looking for a nostalgic taste of the days of free just-about-everything.But members of the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care have done what they set out to do. They have collected enough signatures to put a proposal before the state Legislature that would legalize the use of marijuana in Michigan for medical purposes.You could call it a successful grass-roots movement.Puns aside, this is a serious issue. Chris Killian's marvelously informative story in this past Sunday's Gazette spoke of people with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and other serious ailments who use marijuana illegally now to help them with their symptoms. Something's amiss when grandparents have to make dope deals to find relief from pain.
complete article
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on March 13, 2008 at 11:25:26 PT
 Random School Drug Testing Unconstitutional
Indeed, it is. Do they have to cut a pound of flesh off anyone for it to seem like unreasonable search and seizure. Body fluids and hair with flesh still attached run through machines and tests for discovery's sake, are unreasonable searches and seizures. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.It seems like it should be obvious to anyone with two braincells to click together.But of course, there are those that say our younger citizen's don't really have the rights set forth in the Constitution. Or workers, or drivers, or anyone, really, is what they seem to think.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 13, 2008 at 11:01:09 PT
Breaking AP News
Court: Random School Drug Testing UnconstitutionalMarch 13, 2008OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state Supreme Court says that random drug testing of student athletes is unconstitutional.The court unanimously ruled in favor of some parents and students in the Wahkiakum School District that were fighting the district's policy of random urine tests of middle school and high school student athletes.But the court was split on whether the plurality ruling, backed by four justices, was too far sweeping. In addition to the plurality ruling, there were three separate concurrences. At least one justice says random suspicionless drug testing would be OK under "carefully defined circumstances." Copyright: 2008 Associated Press
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on March 13, 2008 at 09:58:01 PT
should be no tax on medicine
That seems wrong to me.Legalize and tax recreational use if necessary but, for those seriously ill people who may be in financial difficulty due to their illness, taxing their medicine is a disgraceful and repugnant policy.
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Comment #3 posted by NikoKun on March 13, 2008 at 08:56:52 PT
Tax "Relief"?
Doesn't "Tax Relief" mean less taxes? That's the wrong word to use, if we're talking about more taxes...If we're trying to get legalization, we should be encouraging MORE taxes... Not less... LOLPlease, legalize it, and tax it!!!After legalization, the price would drop quite a bit... So I wouldn't mind a 50%, or even 100% tax on it...
It would still end up being cheaper than it currently is...
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Comment #2 posted by Paint with light on March 12, 2008 at 22:02:08 PT
Perfecting the art of deceit
One of the reasons the wars in the mideast were so easy to sell to the American people and the world, is because of all the years of practice our goverment had with selling the war on drugs.It was also clear how easily people would give up their civil rights for the price of "security".Free all drug prisoners.It is a medical/social issue, not a justice issue.Equal with alcohol is all we ask.
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Comment #1 posted by paul armentano on March 12, 2008 at 18:39:20 PT
OT: Ending America’s Domestic Quagmire
Ending America’s Domestic Quagmireby Paul Armentano growing number of political pundits are questioning America’s military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some are beginning to draw parallels to lawmakers’ much longer domestic war effort: the so-called war on drugs. The comparison is apropos.For nearly 100 years, starting with the passage of America’s first federal anti-drug law in 1914, lawmakers have relied on the mantra “Do drugs, do time.” As in the Middle East, the human and fiscal consequences of this inflexible policy have been steadily mounting....In contrast to politicians who call for a review of the U.S. military’s Middle East policies, few lawmakers are demanding a timetable to bring about a cease-fire to the war on drugs – or are even calling for a reduction in the number of “troops” (i.e., narcotics detectives, DEA agents, et cetera) serving on the front lines. They ought to. If American lawmakers want to take a serious look at the United States' war strategies, let them begin by reassessing – and ending – their failed war here at home."
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