City Council approves measure fo March 8 ballot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles voters will be asked next spring whether they want to tax medical marijuana dispensaries although the city attorney says a tax would be illegal.

The referendum is one of 10 measures the City Council voted Wednesday to put on the March 8 ballot.

Other measures include proposals to tax oil producers and increase library funding. A measure to exert more council control over city Department of Water and Power will require further council debate.

City attorney Carmen Trutanich has ruled that a tax on medical marijuana sales would be illegal because the dispensaries are nonprofits and it would be tantamount to sanctioning a criminal activity.

But Councilwoman Janice Hahn says the tax would technically be on the “reimbursements” marijuana buyers make to the dispensaries and could raise $3 million to $5 million a year.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. Andy R. says:

    If politicians could figure how to tax cotozems for breathing air, they would.
    Rhetorical Question: How can they justify taxing Medical marijuana when other prescription drugs are not taxed. Appears to be discriminatory.

  2. Manuling says:

    If City attorney Carmen Trutanich has ruled that a tax on medical marijuana sales would be illegal, why do we have to make $3 mil to $5mil a year for the State of Ca illegally. Is California that desperate? .

  3. c says:

    do you get taxed on penicillin? no. there are many reasons taxing “medicinal” would be illegal. it needs to be fully legal in cali, then we have something to talk about.

  4. swhit says:

    Getting rid of services to illegals should be on the ballot.

  5. swhit says:

    And by “services to illegals”, I mean what my mom does to day laborers behind the bushes at MacArthur Park.

  6. Bragi says:

    This is absurd. We had the opportunity with this last election to pass Proposition 19 and make recreational use of cannabis both legal and taxable. Instead the voters of Los Angeles county were swayed by aggressive campaigning, in particular by the Los Angeles Times, and defeated Prop. 19. Now the city wants to tax medical cannabis when there are no taxes on any other kinds of prescripiton drugs? Sound like L.A. politicians want to eat their cake and have it too.

  7. T says:

    Councilwoman Janice Hahn<– remember this name is trying to justify this issue? Many cancer patients can barely afford their medications with our outrageous medical insurance that makes a profit on the sickness of others. Now they see another way to generate more money from those who already can't afford it.
    And I agree, is penicillin taxed?

    Let's legalize marijuana first and then talk about taxing it for those without a pot card.

  8. 420 Ray says:

    getting rid of illegals should be on the ballot.

  9. THE MAN says:

    I, toally agree with swhit.

  10. Linda Yelvington says:

    Why would you tax pain medications? This is so hypocritical. When you tax Viagra and Cialis, then talk to me about taxing LIFE SAVING medications. All this pretense of compassion covers a willingness to gouge the disabled. Pathetic!

  11. Leon says:

    Please tax us, just let us sell in piece.

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