Conservative activist Grover Norquist recently announced that taxing marijuana upon its legalization would not violate the anti-tax pledge that he and congressional Republicans signed.
By signing the pledge, Republicans vowed to their constituents that they would not raise taxes under any circumstances.
“That's not a tax increase,” Norquist said. “It's legalizing an activity and having the traditional tax applied to it.”
He compared legalizing marijuana to a state legalizing the sale of liquor on Sundays or allowing grocery stores to sell beer and wine.
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Earlier this year Norquist allied with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who introduced a bill that would reduce the tax burden of small marijuana businesses. Norquist’s group Americans for Tax Reform also supported the bill.
Norquist argued that ordinary and necessary businesses should be granted their appropriate business expenses.
A Gallup poll published this week found that 58 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. Some Republicans that lean toward Libertarianism, like Rep. Rohrabacher, have begun to find the financial benefits of legalization promising, since legalization would increase government revenue without breaking the anti-tax pledge.