By Jg Gelay | NoTaxOnMedicine.org
- The measure was put on the ballot by Council Member Janice Hahn with support from Council Member Paul Koretz. Council Members Jan Perry and Bernard Parks, however, wrote the opposition arguments for the official sample voter ballot. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, LA Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley also signed the “No on Measure M” argument.
While these law enforcement figures are notoriously hostile to widespread, regulated medical marijuana access for qualified patients, their opposition to Measure M does not indicate that the reform community should automatically support it.
If passed, Measure M would require collectives to pay “$50 for every $1000 of ‘gross receipts.’” That rate is 10 to 40 times higher than other LA city business and service tax rates, which range from $1.27 to $5.07 per $1000 (source summary by Gerry F. Miller in sample voter guide).
Patients in California already pay sales tax when getting medicine from regulated collectives. This new tax would further disadvantage collectives that are doing their best to comply with the stringent regulations Los Angeles has passed. Meanwhile hundreds of other collectives operate throughout the city flouting the law and may not even charge sales tax. The Greater LA Collectives Alliance (GLACA) is adamant about defeating Measure M.
Arguments in favor of Measure M say money collected would “protect and restore vital services…[and] help restore library hours.” However there is no language in Measure M that earmarks any of the revenue, so the city can do whatever it likes with money earned from this tax. Proponents also argue that “Measure M will bring in up to $10 million in new revenue,” a purely speculative amount. Opponents argue that Measure M will actually cost the city in taxpayer lawsuits and infrastructure creation.
It is important to remember that in a low-turnout primary election, patients and supporters can make the difference and defeat Measure M. To find out more, visitwww.NoTaxOnMedicine.org