Letters to the Editor

Why tax medical marijuana?

Marijuana plants in their initial stages of growth are cultivated in one of the rooms within Surterra Therapeutics.
Marijuana plants in their initial stages of growth are cultivated in one of the rooms within Surterra Therapeutics. AP

I don’t understand why medical marijuana is taxable.

Other medicines are not taxable, so why is marijuana? According to the MarketWatch blog, “The case arose after the board audited Berkeley Patients Group Inc. in Northern California. The marijuana dispensary argued that the $51 million of marijuana it sold between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2007, should be exempt from sales tax. The board disagreed because state tax code doesn’t have a specific exemption for the marijuana, and said the dispensary owes more than $6.4 million in back taxes and interest.”

Do all other medicines have a specific exemption? According to the California Tax Service Center, items exempt from sales and use tax includes sales of prescription medicine and certain medical devices. Medical marijuana requires a prescription. Therefore, by definition, it is a medicine. I don’t get it.

Can you explain the reasoning behind taxing medical marijuana? It looks like discrimination to me. I’m fine with taxing recreational marijuana but not medical marijuana.

Kathleen Howell, Los Osos

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