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Portland NORML Reacts To Federal Tax And Regulate Marijuana Bills


portland norml oregon marijuanaStatement from Portland NORML Executive Director Russ Belville, a constituent of Rep. Blumenauer’s, on the federal taxation of marijuana

US Rep. Earl Blumenauer, representing Oregon’s 3rd District encompassing most of the Portland metro area, has with Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado introduced two bills that will hasten the end of federal prohibition of marijuana.

Rep. Polis has introduced H.R. 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.  This legislation would remove marijuana from the schedule set by the Controlled Substances Act; transition marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting into the section of the U.S. Code that governs “intoxicating liquors.”

Rep. Blumenauer has introduced H.R. 1014, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act of 2015.  This legislation would impose a 10 percent federal excise tax on the sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes, rising to 25 percent as the legal market displaces illegal sellers.  Medical marijuana sales would be exempt from the tax.

Portland NORML Executive Director Russ Belville remarked, “Depending on voting precinct, Portlanders supported marijuana legalization from 70 to 90 percent in the past election.  We’re all happy to see members of Congress beginning to understand that a majority of Americans want to see the end of federal marijuana prohibition.  We are fully in support of Rep. Polis’s H.R. 1013.”

Belville warned, however, about the unintended consequences of Rep. Blumenauer’s H.R. 1014.  “Portlanders smartly recognized that in order for legal marijuana to compete with the black market, its taxation must be kept at competitive levels.  Adding another 10 percent to the price of marijuana creates another opportunity for illegal marijuana dealers to undercut our fledgling legal marijuana market.  We have our reservations about H.R. 1014, but recognize that federal marijuana taxation may be inevitable and realize that a 10 percent excise tax that doesn’t apply to medical marijuana may be the best deal Congress offers.”

Portland NORML will discuss these and other issues in its first public meeting, Saturday, February 28, at Noon at the SPIN Banquet Hall, 1125 SE Madison St.  Measure 91 Chief Petitioner Anthony Johnson will be on hand for a Town Hall Q&A session.  The meeting is open to the press and public.


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Johnny Green


  1. Any money provided to the Federal Government would be spent, wasted, stolen before they even recieve it.

  2. I don’t disagree that they should be civil servants, on that we can agree.
    However, asking for the moon merely limits one’s public credibility and as such a “realistic” approach must be taken. Those seeking to make real changes need to appear amenable to moderate gains otherwise they will be painted as irrational. Being a real player in political theater comes at a cost; Often times that cost entails severely scaling back what you would hope to achieve to garner greater public support.

    Legalization is still in its infancy stages despite the rash of wins. If there were 16+ states that had legalized for recreational use I would say one could apply a bit more pressure by asking for more. That is not the current climate of legalization and we must proceed with cautious optimism and not appear over zealous/greedy.

  3. In negotiations – and every political act is a negotiation – never take a realistic position. You will get less. Take your maximal position then you will wind up closer to that than you would by being “realistic”.

    Never in due time. Eric Garner.

    Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

    I’m sick and tired of the police state. I favor limited government. Very limited government. We used to have a whole country that favored that.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    These days? We act like we are their slaves. Instead of being confident that they are ours.

    Or as Krishna said to Arjuna, “Get up and fight.’

  4. So would I, but that is simply not a realistic position to take currently. We have made great strides toward legalization and only once it has been legalized, and normalized, will we then begin to fine tune regulation of this plant.
    All in due time my friend.

  5. 10% on top of what states already are going to price marijuana at is going to keep the black market alive, for a time. 25% additional taxation would make certain the black market always has a place in the consumer space.

  6. I’m not going to get excited about this legislation. If they even get time allotted in committee to even begin to discuss the possibility of bringing the subject matter up it would surprise me.
    This is a pipe dream atm, but keep hammering them with the truth. Someday the sun will shine through.

  7. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    PLEASE contact your representatives and let them know you support
    de-scheduling of Marijuana (HR 1013) and the regulation and taxation of
    Marijuana businesses (HR 1014). Help STOP the drug war!
    * & please start the conversation with your friends, neighbors, coworkers! Together we CAN get this done! *

  8. booze and smokes get taxed and nobody bats an eye. do the taxes sound a bit excesive? yes but in order for Congress to get ahead of the eventual legalization they have to put forth legislation that will appeal to all parties. if you’ll note there weren’t a whole lot of co sponcers on these bills and they were introduced by representatives from states that have legalized cannabis. lets take what we can get now and after we get what they are giving then we can change the angle of attack to better suit our demands. at any rate it’s irrelevant to me . once they legalize it I’m going to have a back yard full of flowers.

  9. The taxes should not be do extreme. We should not be expect to fill state coffers. These Marijuana taxes allow the black market to survive and thrive.

  10. This is the tax piggies nose under the tent and the feds will get greedy and f it up. When has the government ever got anything right? Everyone in congress and the senate should be kicked out of office for allowing weed to stay as a schedule 1 drug when there has been overwhelming evidence to indicate that this is not inline with the scientific data that has been ignored and suppressed. I can’t wait for AI to come and take all power away from this planet of idiots.

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