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Should We Have a Cannabis Tax? Let’s Take a Look.

The cannabis industry has grown immensely over the last couple of years. However, the normalization of dispensaries and recreational use of the friendly flower is causing a domino effect of issues. The big topic of discussion recently has been all about the cannabis tax. Should cannabis users pay an extra tax? Host David Grasso sits down with Jacob Rich and Kat Murti to discuss this hot, pressing question. With Rich being a policy analyst for the Reason Foundation and Murti being the Executive Director of Feminists for Liberty, you can count on one interesting debate! 

What’s a weed tax?

Before we get into why cannabis tax is even a thing, we must know the history. Both Rich and Murti agree that the history of cannabis becoming normalized is shameful, and a tax will not make a difference. Back during the prohibition era, the war on drugs was in full effect. Now, although a tax seems to be a solid solution, it is quite the opposite.

Murti talks about how despite the legalization of cannabis in some states, there are still racialized arrest rates that seem to be increasing at a yearly rate. Murti believes that the more we push legalization and reformation laws surrounding cannabis, the worse this will get for those target marginalized communities.

Rich, on the other hand, believes that we should be looking at the cannabis industry as a means to raise revenue across the country. Regardless, there will be taxes on cannabis items that are legally sold. However, this additional social equity tax is not included in most prices. Plus, there is no real way of knowing if it will actually go toward those who have been directly affected by the drug war. 

The future of cannabis 

Like Rich stated, if government officials really wanted to help those people who have been hurt by the drug war they might as well just send out checks to the people who have been wrongly thrown in prison. An additional tax for “social equity” purposes will not actually solve the historical wrongdoings surrounding cannabis.  

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