LA Marijuana Vote: Tax and Tighten

Faced with three choices about how to deal with legal medical marijuana, voters in Los Angeles chose to increase taxes and tighten control.  Only Measure D, raising taxes by 1 percent to 6 percent and tightly restricting the number of retail dispensaries, won a majority — 63 to 37.   Continue reading “LA Marijuana Vote: Tax and Tighten”


Jimmy Carter, Marijuana, and Revenue

“President Jimmy Carter, at a meeting . . . predicted the experiments in Washington and Colorado would go badly.  In his speech Friday, Carter was more cautious about what could happen in Colorado and Washington.”

Marijuana would be taxed less than cigarettes in both states.  That’s kind of a red flag.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  “There should be no advertising for marijuana in any circumstances and no driving under the influence,” he said.   Continue reading “Jimmy Carter, Marijuana, and Revenue”

Avoiding the IRS scandal the French way

In France, contributions to churches and charities are treated just  contributions to political parties:  taxpayers get a 66 percent CREDIT for contributions up to 20 percent of income.  (Mighty generous.)  My old French major in college finally comes in handy, if I’m reading this right.

OK, the IRS scandal arises from treating political and charitable ENTITIES differently, Continue reading “Avoiding the IRS scandal the French way”

Taxation, Destruction, and Discouragement: “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act”

The power to tax is the power to destroy, or at least discourage.   As an advocate of higher, indexed taxes on alcohol, I don’t get North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger’s “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act” proposal to impose sales or services taxes on prescription drugs and doctors’ fees.

Some of the Locke Foundation group would tax alcohol like milk, and tax doctors like tattoo artists.  Seriously.  Look at  Roy Cordato, Sales taxes and free choices, (May 25, 2010), 

I understand that folks distrust government, and I don’t blame them.  Distrusting government was at the top of the Founders’ agenda.  And once government starts picking winners and losers, it can get carried away.  But to insist on neutrality — to oppose having government make any distinctions — is to throw out the baby with the bath water.  Taxing medicine and doctors’ visits takes the principle of neutrality to an extreme.  I don’t think they’ll make that happen.

A secret plan to change our taxes — North Carolina Tax Fairness Act

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger floated a notional “North Carolina Tax Fairness Act” last week.  Its provisions are unclear.  It would impose sales taxes on prescription drugs and even reportedly services taxes on doctor’s fees, but it remains a mystery.  I  tried to get the specifics last week via phone and email (, but have received no reply.  If you find the plan, I’d appreciate knowing about it:


Orwellian Doublespeak from multinationals

“The Home Court Advantage” is the label U.S.-based multinationals associated with the Business Roundtable want to apply to their territorial tax proposal.  The problem is that the territoriality they propose gives tax preference to their foreign investments. That’s how territoriality works:  we would tax their American income and not tax their foreign income.  Yes, they would give home investments a disadvantage while wrapping themselves in the flag.

What’s their defense for twisting words this way?  Continue reading “Orwellian Doublespeak from multinationals”

Bifurcating the tax base for marijuana: Weight and potency

I’m getting closer to concluding that smokable marijuana should be taxed by weight, and edibles by potency of the processed material in them.  Asking around, I got this confirmation from someone who knows lots more than I do:

1.  Is it true that wax or BHO is fungible enough to tax by potency?  That is, will every sample test out the same for THC?
A:  Yes, it is fungible enough.  Although genetics vary in potency.
2.  Of all edibles produced, how much uses cannabis (1) in liquid or wax form as opposed to (2) granulated or ground solids?
A: Not sure if anyone knows.  But edibles that are best when made with extracted forms of THC.  If someone is putting in plant matter in their product, they won’t last long.