Oregon Congressmen Seek 280e Marijuana Law Reform


(Photo credit: Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian)

Progressive Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been a longtime marijuana law reformer, working to improve our laws since the early 1970s. It is no surprise when he speaks out on marijuana issues, even when he reaches across the political divide to recruit conservatives (like anti-tax activist Grover Norquist) and Republicans (like Rep. Dana Rohrabacher) to the cause. United States Senator Ron Wyden, on the other hand, is known as a moderate, pragmatic politician who doesn’t tackle controversial issues. Representative Blumenauer pulled off an important political feat to bring Sen. Wyden to the fold as the two Oregon Congressmen seek 280e marijuana law reform that would allow state-regulated cannabis businesses to deduct the normal and customary expenses, just as any other legal business.

Jeff Mapes (who I can’t thank enough for snapping the photo that is the featured image on this blog post) from The Oregonian reports:

Blumenauer said an increasing number of businesses in states that allow marijuana sales – either for recreational or medical use – are finding that they are paying tax rates as high as 70 percent, which can be three or four times the rate paid by other businesses.

“That’s a pretty staggering and unnecessary burden,” said Blumenauer, arguing that it severely inhibits the ability of the industry to grow and create jobs.

“I think this is a simple question of tax fairness for these businesses,” Wyden added.

When pressed, Senator Wyden wouldn’t admit to voting for Measure 91, Oregon’s legalization law, stating that his personal opinion wasn’t the issue as he merely wants the will of the voters implemented effectively. While I was secretly hoping that the senator would state his support for the legalization measure, it is equally impressive to see an elected official standing up for the rights of voters, regardless of his or her own position. Having this important legislation filed in both houses of Congress is important to bring cannabis businesses closer to fair treatment under our IRS tax laws. While we have a ways to go, today marked a personal milestone for me as I was honored and humbled to have joined these two pioneering politicians as they stood up for the cannabis industry and the will of the voters.

Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.