Taxes on marijuana may force a showdown between state and federal laws

By Dean Schaffer | 6 Dec 2010

Related News: San Jose approves Measure U marijuana tax

Voters at a Palo Alto polling place weigh in on Prop. 19. (Photo: Christina Farr)

It’s funny how elections work sometimes. On the day Californians defeated Proposition 19, voters in 10 cities authorized taxing marijuana.
Because Prop. 19 would have legalized the recreational use of pot, these new taxes will fall entirely on medicinal marijuana dispensaries in San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland, Sacramento, Stockton and the other five cities. But collecting the taxes might not be as easy as voters think.
Under U.S. law, marijuana is illegal, so to pay a tax for selling it, dispensaries must formally admit to a city that they are committing a federal crime.

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