Cannabis Activists Sue Colorado Over Taxation
June 30th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Colorado-based lawyer Rob Corry filed a 37-page lawsuit in Denver District Court asking a judge to issue an injunction ordering the State of Colorado and City of Denver to stop collecting taxes derived from its legal pot industry on behalf of several marijuana dispensary owners and end users.
Mr. Corry argues that the law violates the right against self-incrimination guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Since marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, those who buy and sell marijuana can implicate themselves in a crime, potentially violating the Fifth Amendment.
The lawsuit further argues that the state’s 25% combined sales and excise tax on marijuana have undermined the original intent of voters. According to Mr. Corry, the excessive taxation has resulted in a “resurgence” in the underground market as consumers look for cheaper products to get a high.
Carolyn Tyler, a spokeswoman for Colorado’s Attorney General John Suthers, commented in a Reuters article that “Mr. Corry’s claims are bizarre and lack legal and logical consistency”, adding that the office will “aggressively” defend the state against any legal challenges arising from the lawsuit.
Colorado has received nearly $11 million in sales and excise taxes from recreational marijuana alone since the beginning of the year, according to the state’s figures released over the past weeks. The funds have been put to use in a variety of ways, including within the educational sector and for prevention education efforts.
Big business has also benefited from the legal status of marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington. The green-light from regulators has helped many businesses setup operations without as high of a risk from the U.S. DEA or other federal agencies following a memorandum last year by the U.S. DOJ.
Despite these advances, many industry advocates and businesses are hoping for a cohesive national legal framework over the coming years.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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