DENVER (CBS4) – Marijuana activists asked a judge on Friday to temporarily prevent the state from collecting specific “marijuana taxes” on pot sales because they incriminate consumers and industry employees under federal law.
Saying the taxes “tee up a serious federal prosecution,” the attorney for the plaintiffs, No Over Taxation, argued that because Colorado specifically labels taxes on purchases as marijuana-related taxes, it’s identifying people and making them susceptible for federal prosecution.READ MORE: Demand For COVID Testing Increases With Arrival Of Omicron Variant
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the U.S. Justice Department said it gives leeway to operators following state law.
“This is not a theoretical threat,” attorney Robert J. Corry said. “The feds are going after people in Colorado for operating licensed shops. This is a problem.”
Corry asked the judge at the preliminary injunction hearing to suspend taxation while the court decides. He said it should take less than a year.READ MORE: Long Hauler Recovers: COVID-19 Patient Goes Home After 158 Days In Hospital
Corry said millions are potentially impacted.
“We have a large cannabis industry in Colorado,” he said. “Lots of people purchase it and tens of thousands of people are directly employed by these shops. They could be incriminating themselves under federal law.”
The case is No Over Taxation v. Hickenlooper.
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