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Long Beach considers taxing marijuana

July 7, 2010 11:13:13 PM PDT
The city of Long Beach is considering a tax on medical marijuana collectives to help close its nearly $19 million deficit.Tuesday, the city council voted to hold a public hearing next month on whether to place a measure on the November ballot that would set a 5 percent tax on medical marijuana collectives and another tax of 10 percent if recreational marijuana is legalized.

A special election would cost up to $450,000.

Oakland already taxes medical marijuana and other Northern California cities are considering similar measures.

In May, Long Beach voted to regulate the collectives. And supporters of the tax reason that since alcohol and cigarettes are already taxed, it makes sense to tax medical marijuana.

Proposition 19 would legalize marijuana use for recreation.

Critics of the proposed tax say medical marijuana patients would be unfairly targeted.