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Category: Fun | Posted on Thu, April, 9th 2015 by THCFinder


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Texas House Committee Takes Up Three Bills on Marijuana Reform. Don't Expect Much Else.

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, April, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

Three bills that take different approaches to reforming Texas' marijuana laws got a hearing before the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on Wednesday. Supporters packed the only committee hearing scheduled on the bills in either chamber. With the clock running out on the session, other hearings aren't likely, and regardless odds are long against the Legislature passing any big changes to the state's tough marijuana laws this year.

Still, the bills, along with several others, are at least some movement on the road to Texas maybe someday allowing adults the freedom to toke without fear of arrest.

Each of the three bills the committee considered late Wednesday offers a different approach to the current demand for reform in Texas, from reducing penalties for possession to throwing the door wide open to legalization.

The first two bills, HB 325 and HB 414, seek to reduce possession of 0.35 ounces of marijuana to a Class C Misdemeanor. Currently, it is a Class B misdemeanor. They also drop possession of 2 ounces to a Class B misdemeanor and under four ounces to a Class A misdemeanor. Representatives Harold Dutton Jr. and Gene Wu from Houston are backing these bills.

El Paso Rep. Joe Moody's HB 507 takes a much larger stride in marijuana reform. It would reduce penalties for possession of less than 1 ounce to a $100 fine and no jail time.

"As a lawmaker, I have a responsibility to make sure we're spending our resources wisely and treating our people fairly," Moody said in a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project. "That's what HB 507 is about."

The bill that has most legalization advocates producing foam from their previously dry cotton mouths is HB 2165 from Rep. David Simpson of Tyler. This bill effectively legalizes marijuana with little to no regulation, like "tomatoes or jalapenos."

While critics of this bill have been quick to point out the lack of regulation could do more harm than good, Shaun McAlister, director of DFW NORML, is confident that this bill is a stepping stone to a broader version of reform.

Read More: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2015/04/texas_house_committee_takes_up_three_bills_on_marijuana_reform_dont_expect_much_else.php


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Federal Politicians Announce Commonsense Tax Reform For Legal Marijuana Businesses

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 9th 2015 by THCFinder
 
marijuana taxes tax

(via dailyfinance.com)

Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced plans to introduce bicameral legislation next week that would reconcile state marijuana laws and federal tax law. The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which was introduced last Congress by Congressman Blumenauer, would create an exception to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E to allow marijuana businesses operating in compliance with state law to take deductions associated with the sale of marijuana like any other legal business.
“More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana. It’s time for the federal government to catch up,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “Section 280E creates an unequal and unrealistic tax burden on these businesses. I’m excited to work with Senator Wyden in introducing the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would bring much needed fairness and level the playing field for small businesses that follow state laws and create jobs.”

“Our legislation would provide an overdue update to federal tax law, which has not caught up to the fact that it’s 2015 and Oregonians have voted both to legalize medical marijuana and to regulate marijuana for recreational use,” Senator Wyden said. “This is a question of standing up for the people of Oregon, and ensuring that the federal government respects the decision Oregonians have made at the ballot box.”

Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia and Guam have passed laws allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana. An additional 12 states have passed laws allowing the use of low-THC forms of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. In many of these jurisdictions, patients can access medicine safely through state-regulated dispensaries.

The federal tax code, however, prohibits anyone selling Schedule I or Schedule II substances from deducting business expenses associated with the sale of marijuana from their taxes. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance. Therefore, even businesses operating in compliance with state law are not allowed to deduct the common expenses of running a small business, such as rent, most utilities and payroll. They cannot claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit if they hire a veteran, and they are limited in lawful deductions relating to construction or operation costs if they want to remodel a building for their retail operations.

In certain circumstances, legal marijuana businesses can pay federal income tax rates at nearly 90 percent, while the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that many small businesses pay an effective rate of around 20 percent.

“Congress never intended to impose a gross receipts tax – and that’s pretty much what we have here – on legal business owners decades in the future,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “The intent of the law was to go after criminals, not law abiding job creators. Congress needs to step up and clarify that this provision has become a case study in unintended consequences.”

“The small businesses that make up the legal cannabis industry are working overtime to be responsible, contributing members of their communities,” said Aaron Smith, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “So it’s particularly outrageous that when they to do the right thing by paying their federal taxes, they end up penalized with double and triple tax rates. Instead of being able to create more jobs, increase salaries, or add benefits for their employees, these businesses are being forced to send more than two-thirds of their profits straight to the federal government. Rep. Blumenauer and Sen. Wyden are standing up for fairness and support for small business – something everyone should applaud. We certainly do.”

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/politicians-announce-tax-reform-legal-marijuana-businesses/


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Feds Want to Grow More Pot In 2015

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, April, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

For the second year in a row, federal officials are seeking permission to grow more weed. Yes, you read that correctly. On Wednesday, the administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, posted a proposal in the US Federal Register that seeks to allow the agency to increase its marijuana production quota for the year 2015 three-fold. Interested parties have 30-days to file public comments before federal officials can act on the DEA’s request.

Specifically, the DEA wants to permit the only federally licensed pot farm, which is located at the University of Mississippi -- and was recently retained as Uncle Sam's marijuana grow op -- to grow a whole lot more weed before year’s end.

For decades, U-Miss has cultivated set quantities of cannabis for use in federally approved clinical trials (regulators at the DEA, the FDA, Public Health Service and the National Institute on Drug Abuse must approve any clinical protocol seeking to study the plant’s effects in human subjects). But for most of this time there has been little demand for federally grown herb, largely because government officials had strongly discouraged any research into the discovery of the plant’s potential benefits.

However, according to the DEA’s latest public notice, the Feds are having a sudden change of heart. The agency says that the increased production is necessary because “research and product development involving cannabidiol is increasing beyond that previously anticipated for 2015.” In 2014, eleven states enacted laws pertaining to the use or study of CBD and several more are poised to enact similar measures this year.

The agency further acknowledges having received increased requests from NIDA “to provide for ongoing and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana.” These would include a series of Colorado state funded studies assessing the use of cannabis in patients with post-traumatic stress, inflammatory bowel disorders, cancer and chronic pain.

In 2014, the DEA similarly requested permission to increase its marijuana production quota. The Feds current menu of available pot strains and prices is now online here.

Source:http://www.hightimes.com/read/feds-want-grow-more-pot-2015


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