You hear it suggested that the Federal Government can’t tax marijuana, because a network of treaties, listed below, keeps us from legalizing it. Well, what about Code section 280E, which imposes a Federal tax on state-legal marijuana growers by denying most business deductions? It brings in revenue as surely as an excise tax based on weight, potency, or price would. Taxpayers are chafing at and paying this tax today. Maybe an excise tax would not be treaty-legal, but who among supporters of the treaty’s goals would argue for repeal of 280E?
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961) as amended by the 1972 Protocol