Republicans are anti-marijuana and anti-tax. Unless there's a buck to be made.
Tom Horne, the state's new Attorney General, just came out in favor of taxing the medical marijuana soon to be sold in Arizona.
True, a small tax on the product isn't such a bad idea. The pot shops will be run as non-profit businesses, but forcing them to put revenue in state coffers is actually a good long term plan for their survival. Eventually, the state will be making so much money that making medical pot re-illegal will be unthinkable.
Of course, that's not going to stop us or anyone else from seeing the irony in a GOP push to tax anything, especially pot. Which Republican legislators will take up this call to tax people? Which conservatives and Tea Party supporters will earn the title of Biggest Hypocrite?
Scroll down for Horne's news release:
HORNE TO RECOMMEND TAXATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA Phoenix (Wednesday January 26, 2011) - Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that he is recommending to the Arizona Department of Revenue that medical marijuana, made legal in a recent initiative, be taxed by the State.
Horne stated, "I was opposed to the medical marijuana initiative during the 2010 election, but it was passed by the voters and the issue now presented is whether it should be taxed under existing law."
He added, "Normally, there would be no tax on prescriptions. However, the legislation refers to doctors giving a 'written certification' rather than a prescription, an apparent effort, copied from other states, to protect doctors from discipline for giving prescriptions of substances prohibited under federal law. Since these are 'written certifications' rather than prescriptions, the sale of the substance can be taxed by the State, and we are recommending to the Department of Revenue that it tax the sales accordingly. We are informed by the Department of Revenue that they will take this advice, and tax the sales."
The taxes are estimated to yield revenues to the State of Arizona in the approximate amount of $40 million per year. This number is projected, on a pro rata basis, to the Arizona population the statistics for Denver County, as reported by the Denver Post using the Phoenix sales tax rate.