Tax and Regulate

Washington: Home cultivation bill advancing!

Contact your elected officials today and urge them to support allowing home cultivation!

Eleven states have legalized cannabis for adults’ use, and Washington is one of only two that does not allow home cultivation. Fortunately, legislation is advancing in Olympia that would legalize home cultivation of up to six plants per person and 15 per household.

Please contact your elected officials and urge them to support HB 1131 and SB 5155!

To have an even greater impact, show up in person at the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow, and sign in to register your support. Be sure to dress professionally and be respectful.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 3:30 p.m.

Where: House Appropriations Committee, House Hearing Room A, John L. O'Brien Building, 504 15th Ave SW, Olympia, WA

What: Sign in to register your support for home cultivation — HB 1131

Much like home brewing of beer, there is no good reason to deny adults the freedom to grow their own cannabis. For many Washingtonians, such as those who don’t live near a retail store, home cultivation would provide an ethical and cost-effective alternative to purchasing from the illicit market.

HB 1131 has already passed the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming in a 9-2 vote, and it has been scheduled for a hearing in the Appropriations Committee tomorrow afternoon. An identical bill, SB 5155, has been introduced in the Senate.

After you email your elected officials, please share this message with your friends and family!

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Research||Tax and Regulate

Teen Use Down in Washington Since Legalization

Yet another study was released this week showing that teen marijuana use did not increase after legalization, this time from Washington.

Seattle Times reports:

Youth use of pot and cannabis-abuse treatment admissions have not increased in Washington since marijuana was legalized, according to a new analysis by the state Legislature’s think tank.

Under Initiative 502, the state’s legal-pot law, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) is required to conduct periodic cost-benefit analyses of legalization on issues ranging from drugged-driving to prenatal use of marijuana.

...

The think tank’s findings on youth use were not surprising as they were based on a biannual survey by the state Department of Health of students in the sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades released earlier this year.

Pot use by students in all four grade levels was stable or has fallen slightly since I-502 was enacted, the WSIPP report said.

For instance, 17 percent of the 10,835 high-school sophomores surveyed last year said they consumed pot in the previous month. The level was 18 percent in 2006 and 20 percent in 2010.

Legalization was approved by Washington voters in November 2012. Legal sales began in July 2014.

The study also found that admissions to public treatment centers for cannabis abuse had fallen since legalization took effect, and that the cannabis industry had created more than six thousand full-time jobs.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Federal Lawsuit Filed to Derail Washington State from Collecting Taxes on Marijuana Sales

[caption id="attachment_7623" align="alignright" width="266"]Martin Nickerson Martin Nickerson, owner of Northern Cross Collective Gardens[/caption]

Martin Nickerson has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Washington, attempting to bar the state from collecting taxes on marijuana sales. Washington state officials are demanding that he pay taxes on those sales to the tune of $62,000. However, since Nickerson is under prosecution for the criminal sale of marijuana as a medical marijuana producer, he claims that forcing him to pay taxes on his sales would violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Alison Holcomb, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who was the main author of Washington State's successful ballot initiative, said the lawsuit has a low probability of taking down the state’s legal marijuana system.

Suppliers like Nickerson have already made public their intent to break federal law, Holcomb said, so paying taxes on their proceeds would not do much to further incriminate them.

"Paying taxes on marijuana implicates you, but so does everything else about being engaged in this system," she said.

Ultimately, the case brings into question whether federal laws trump state laws when it comes to collecting tax revenue generated from marijuana sales. The outcome of this case could have a significant impact on medical marijuana businesses around the country.

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