CO and WA: Do you want your marijuana taxed or tax-free?

Will government in full-legalization states always need to keep trying to distinguish between patients and everyone else? Maybe, with full legalization, (1) economies of scale will kick in and (2) the prohibition premium will fade so much that non-medical users will pay an after-tax price lower than patients have ever paid (or maybe even hoped for). Even if the two groups (healthy folks and patients) are “served by the same system,” some costs of deciding who is a patient and who is not will continue — like doctor’s fees. Another category of costs is non-financial, like the disrespect for law that comes from healthy people beating the system and evading tax by pretending to be sick. But let me be clear: I am convinced that marijuana has real medical uses. To the extent that the public has confidence that medical recommendations do in fact separate sick people from healthy people, I backtrack.

Discussion is proceeding at the Samefacts blog.

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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