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Archived: EDITORIAL: Marijuana Industry Is Not Going Away, So It Should be Taxed

What is the federal government trying to tell California’s Medical Marijuana Industry with their recent raids in Northern California?

Yes, the growing of pot has indeed become big business in the Golden State, though not a windfall for state coffers.

On Tuesday, the DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service, IRS conducted a raid on the nation’s first trade school dedicated to the growing of pot and a nearby medical marijuana dispensary. It is a big blow to those who have been advocating and working to formalize the practice of cultivating and distributing marijuana for medical and other uses.

The raids were directed at one of the most outspoken and provocative advocates for the cause, Richard Lee. It was most certainly an attempt to do damage to the marijuana industry by taking on one of its most visible players.

By sending both the DEA and the IRS to raid Lee’s popular dispensary and his Oakserdam University, we believe the federal government is showing how conflicted it is over the sale of marijuana.

On the one hand, it is “morally” opposed to the production and sale of pot. On the other, it is distresses that it is likely losing out in millions of dollars in potential tax revenue from those same sales.

Try as some may in government to pose the sale of pot as a solely moral issue, in reality it is also an economic issue that must be addressed.

California has already approved the use of marijuana for medical use. It has for the most part decriminalized possession of small amounts for personal use. The marijuana industry is not going away.

In our view, it’s time to tax marijuana production and sales.