Letter: Medical marijuana tax misguided

Published:

 

I could not disagree more with your April 11 editorial, "Balance the Pot Taxes," or state Sen. Ann Rivers' position. It is improper to consider taxing prescription medical marijuana, just as it would be improper to tax oxycodone.

The claim is made that, since the state intends to tax freely sold marijuana, there will be a rush to get the cheaper prescription variety. Hence the need to tax medical marijuana sales. People currently pay $10-15 for a single oxycodone tablet, and forged prescriptions are a daily problem. So why not tax oxycodone tablets at $8-12? More money for the state, and too bad about all the cancer and other chronic-disease sufferers who will be crushed by those taxes. At least the state will get more money and Sen. Rivers can protect the sweetheart tax loopholes of her constituents.

The marijuana tax, like the cigarette and liquor taxes, are "sin taxes" based on the religious concept of right and wrong behavior that should have no role in government decisions. What is appropriate is to tax these products in order to ameliorate their negative effects on society. It is not appropriate to tax prescriptions, food, nor other basic necessities.

William Sterr

VANCOUVER