March 01, 2015

Marijuana Taxation Without Legalization

If you turn on the news, television or radio, it is difficult to avoid discussions of marijuana and its legalization. Recently, Bethenny Frankel, known for appearing on the “Real Housewives of New York,” and for creating the “Skinnygirl cocktails,” has announced her intention to brand and market “Skinnygirl Marijuana,” which she boasts will not give you the munchies.[1]

In the world of professional football, consumption of marijuana is still strictly forbidden pursuant to NFL policy. However, the NFL has recently been forced to consider whether the medicinal properties of marijuana warrant a change.[2]

This year, the U.S. almost had its first “Weed Bowl” between Washington and Colorado teams, where marijuana has been fully legalized, but the Broncos had an unexpected early exit from the NFL Playoffs. In Seattle, a local grower of marijuana has “honored” Seattle Seahawks player, Marshawn Lynch, by naming a strain of marijuana after the Seattle running back—aptly titled “Beast Mode.”[3]

Outside of the NFL and pop culture, the public perception of marijuana consumption is changing. Recently, Congress passed a spending bill[4] that would essentially defund federal efforts to combat the use of medical marijuana in states where it has been legalized. The bill is still pending, but it is one example of the overall changing attitude towards marijuana…

Click here for the full text. This article was written for Contra Costa Lawyer, a publication of the Contra Costa Bar Association.