Medical Marijuana Tax Bill Clears Arizona Senate

A voter initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Arizona probably will go to the voting booth in November, and if it passes, the state hopes to tax the ever-loving crap out of medicinal weed.

The Arizona Senate passed SB 1222 yesterday, which allows the state government to levy huge taxes on medical marijuana, should the initiative pass in November.

Several Republicans -- including Senate President Bob Burns -- voted alongside Democrats to pass the bill, which would subject weed to the state's 5.6 percent sales tax and throw an additional $20 "luxury Tax" on each ounce of weed sold.

Most drugs and medical supplies are exempt from taxes all together, let alone have a "luxury tax."

Backers say the majority of those who would be permitted to buy the medical marijuana are people with debilitating diseases, including cancer patients looking to ease chronic pain.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project is leading the effort to get medical marijuana legalized in Arizona and should the initiative pass in November, those eligible for the weed would be allowed to buy 2.5 ounces of it every two weeks.

Organizers of the initiative say they don't oppose the tax and that the goal is not to completely legalize marijuana the way people are trying to do in other states.

"This will be the most tightly regulated [program] in the country. It's not going to be anything like California's," project campaign manager Andrew Myers told New Times back in July. "The truth of the matter is this is an overwhelmingly popular measure. Ballot access is the big issue."

Click here for more information on the medical marijuana initiative.

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