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Lawsuit Filed To Stop Washington From Collecting Taxes On Marijuana Sales

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washington state marijuana regulationsBy Brandon Isaak

Martin Nickerson has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Washington, attempting to bar the state from collecting taxes on marijuana sales. Washington state officials are demanding that he pay taxes on those sales to the tune of $62,000. However, since Nickerson is under prosecution for the criminal sale of marijuana as a medical marijuana producer, he claims that forcing him to pay taxes on his sales would violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Alison Holcomb, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who was the main author of Washington State’s successful ballot initiative, said the lawsuit has a low probability of taking down the state’s legal marijuana system.

Suppliers like Nickerson have already made public their intent to break federal law, Holcomb said, so paying taxes on their proceeds would not do much to further incriminate them.

“Paying taxes on marijuana implicates you, but so does everything else about being engaged in this system,” she said.

Ultimately, the case brings into question whether federal laws trump state laws when it comes to collecting tax revenue generated from marijuana sales. The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on medical marijuana businesses around the country.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project - make a donation

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2 Comments

  1. It would make sense to pay taxes on the sale of marijuana just like liquor is taxes. Not knowing all the fact, it appears that Nickerson was legally growing medical marijuana yet selling it on the black market and then avoiding the taxes. I bet if he would paid the taxes on the sale no one would have been the wiser.

  2. If you don’t pay taxes on everyday medications, then this ought to be the same. Gobbernments were all against cannabis at one point, then they saw green. Now they want to not only control it, more so, they want to tax the living crap out of it.
    Reminds me of New Jersey, when the first “turn on red-ok” law came into effect… the state simplu put up signs on every street saying, “NO TURN ON RED”….
    Control….don’t give it to them, they’ll only find a way to screw this up like they screwed everything else up.

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