March 25, 2010

Arizona Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Tax

March 25, 2010

Even though medical marijuana isn’t legal in the State of Arizona, there is already going to be a tax on it. Arizona State Senators voted 17-2 to pass S1222 today, which would tax medical marijuana (click here)
The bill is conditional on the enactment of the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” ballot initiative this November. As expected, some Republicans tried to shoot down the bill almost immediately. “I’m hoping that the ballot measure doesn’t pass, but if it does and if it’s truly about medical marijuana, we don’t tax any other medicine,” said Sen. Russell Pearce, (R)-Mesa. “We ought to be consistent in our tax policy in our state.”

“One thing I know of is that when you tax something, less of it happens and I want less of this to happen,” Sen. John Huppenthal, a (R)-Chandler. I wonder if these Arizona State Republicans are upset because they get campaign money from big pharmaceutical companies….Just a thought. S1222 (click here) is hasty legislation, considering the initiative is still in the signature gathering process! However, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, and its supporters, are expected to get enough signatures in time.

If the initiative is passed, the following ailments would qualify: cancer, AIDS, HIV, Alzheimer’s, Hepatitis C and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or AL, glaucoma and patients with “debilitating medical conditions” brought on by diseases or treatments that cause severe and chronic pain, nausea, seizures, muscle spasms and severe loss of muscle mass. Patients would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time. Licensed caregivers would be allowed to grow up to 12 plants, and the program would allow dispensaries.


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