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Weed Sellers Descend on The Capitol with Odd Request

by Countable | 5.18.17

Marijuana business owners have been storming Capitol Hill this week and they’re making what may seem like an odd request: They want to pay taxes like everyone else.

Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, classified as a schedule 1 narcotic by the FDA, just like heroin. But in 29 states and the District of Colombia, local law determines some form of legal, regulated pot commerce. That puts those states at odds with the federal government -- which bans them from basic services such as using the banking system to accept credit cards, or allowing those businesses to itemize their expenses on their federal tax returns.

“This is an issue of fundamental fairness that legal, licensed, American businesses that are involved in legitimate trade are not allowed to deduct their business expenses. It's fundamentally wrong, it's unfair and it has to change," Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) said at the Capitol.

"These are the types of businesses that we should be promoting, because they're doing business the right way, under the law, consistent with their states' regulations."

Marijuana sellers have another beef with the U.S. tax code: Section 280E hits their businesses with two and sometimes three times the tax penalty of any other legal business. That’s why they’re pushing the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, which would allow marijuana businesses to get the same deductions as every other business.

The proposals are slowly picking up Republican support, in part because many conservative states have passed laws legalizing either medicinal or recreational marijuana. But now proponents want Republican leaders to bring up the bills, which they say maintain broad support across the ideological spectrum.

For example, Representative Earl Blumenauer, (D-OR) told reporters in the Capitol,

“I’ve never met any human being that thinks there’s any good purpose served by forcing state legal cannabis businesses to operate on an all cash basis. That’s not controversial. Nobody thinks that it’s fair that they can’t deduct their business expenses. That’s not controversial.”

Supporters are also asking Congress to pass the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017, which would bar the Department of Justice and the DEA from enforcing the federal marijuana prohibition in states that have legalized pot.

Do you think federal law should allow states to determine marijuana policy? Should these businesses be allowed the tax expensing that others have? Hit the Take Action button and tell your Reps!

-- Matt Laslo

Countable

Written by Countable

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(335)
  • Pam
    05/18/2017
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    Voters want marijuana decriminalized and available. Store owners want to be looked at as legitimate businesses. It is a win win for everyone except the pharmaceutical industry who will see a decrease in business and to their lobbyist who make big money trying to sway politicians, who should remember that THEY WORK FOR US.

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  • SirRobert
    05/18/2017
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    I'm tired of the war on Marijuana! I'm tired of paying for police raids, helicopters, surveillance, court costs and prisons. STOP this war on this drug and legalize marijuana nationwide! Oh by the way, Canada just legalized marijuana, are we going to build a wall there too???

    Like (204)
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  • Bluewitsend
    05/18/2017
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    Legalize and regulate the industry and let them pay taxes. It's time.

    Like (121)
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  • Ann
    05/18/2017
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    Please support & encourage other Representatives to support Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 & Small Business Equity Act of 2017.

    Like (84)
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  • Frank
    05/18/2017
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    Please get off the pot decisions, make it legal, tax it, regulate it and move on to more serious matters then getting a little high, which I see no different than having a couple beers. Please let's move onto more important matters.

    Like (81)
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  • Van
    05/18/2017
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    I wholeheartedly support the removal of cannabis from its Schedule 1 listing. Lets save our prisons for actual criminals.

    Like (63)
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  • Donna
    05/18/2017
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    Support weed business- I have had insomnia since i was a Sr. inHigh school. I eat a little piece of brownie 1 hr b4 bed and I get sleep. Ambien is not for long term use and it quit working. I'm an old lady who never did drugs ever. No, I have no desire to use heroin- this is NOT a gateway drug. Legalize it 100% No more being against Federal law.

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  • Michaelcarrasco
    05/18/2017
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    Just make pot legal guys. This is stupid.

    Like (43)
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  • Christopher
    05/18/2017
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    If more people are in favor of legalizing it, why not? It is WE THE PEOPLE after all

    Like (38)
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  • Dale
    05/18/2017
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    You are always looking for ways to lower your own taxes and those of your wealthy donor friends. This may be a way and it would straighten out federal vs state problems.

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  • Anne
    05/18/2017
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    The Government has to stop harassing legitimate businesses. Let them work!

    Like (32)
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  • Jackie
    05/18/2017
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    I'm 65 and have been having this argument since I was a teen. Marijuana is NOT a gateway drug...the gateway is in forcing people to deal with criminals to get it. The alcohol industry doesn't want to give up their share of the market to something I can grow myself. This is all a manipulation. It's time to decriminalize the herb....at the federal level.

    Like (27)
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  • Bruce
    05/18/2017
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    Please support & encourage Representatives to support Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 & Small Business Equity Act of 2017.

    Like (25)
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  • Joshua
    05/18/2017
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    Legalize it.

    Like (23)
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  • Allison
    05/18/2017
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    Legalize and regulate the industry and let them pay taxes.

    Like (22)
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  • Carrie
    05/18/2017
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    Take marijuana off Schedule 1 and treat it like alcohol. It's a plant for crying out loud! Think of all the tax money. Win, win!

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  • Casey
    05/18/2017
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    I am in full support ! Legitimize marijuana business, medical and scientific research, and clinical therapies so that they can be taxed, regulated, and implemented legally and safely. Such measures have the potential to boost local economic growth and lessen illegal drug trade, not to mention provide valuable therapies to waiting patients.

    Like (17)
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  • Jeffry
    05/18/2017
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    Make this Astounding plant with 1,000s of uses LEGAL!

    Like (16)
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  • Hilary
    05/18/2017
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    Voters want marijuana decriminalized and available. Marijuana store owners want to be looked at as legitimate businesses with formal financial protections and safe guards. It is a win win for everyone to tax marijuana dispensaries, just like alcohol and cigarettes. Support the taxation of legal dispensaries.

    Like (15)
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  • Eric
    05/18/2017
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    For goodness sake, take the tax. More importantly is repeal the law against marijuana.

    Like (14)
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