Taxing legalized marijuana in Washington and Colorado won’t violate the anti-tax pledge that congressional Republicans signed according to Grover Norquist. The pledge states, “I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
“That’s not a tax increase,” Norquist said according to Opposing Views. “It’s legalizing an activity and having the traditional tax applied to it.”
Last month, Norquist joined Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., two of Congress’s most outspoken drug-policy reformers, to push a plan that would allow marijuana-related businesses to write off their business expenses. The federal tax code considers state-approved dispensaries drug traffickers, even in the 20-plus states that have medical marijuana or full legalization. Norquist, Blumenauer, and Rohrabacher want to put an end to that.
“When you legalize something and more people do more of it, and the government gets more revenue because there’s more of it … that’s not a tax increase,” he explains. “The tax goes from 100 percent, meaning it’s illegal, to whatever the tax is.”
I know a lot of conservatives that are coming on board when it comes to marijuana reform. They were opposed to marijuana reform when it was just a social justice issue. But now that economics is involved, and enormous numbers are being thrown around, conservatives are signing up in droves. I would rather have seen conservatives get on board because ending marijuana prohibition is the right thing to do, but I guess we’ll take their support anyway we can. I just hope that if the enormous projections aren’t accurate, they stay on board.