Follow us:

The Evergreen

Seattle Times coverage of pot policy, culture and lifestyle.

August 12, 2014 at 5:54 PM

U.S. judge dismisses Washington marijuana tax case

The Associated Press

SEATTLE  — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Washington state’s authority to tax marijuana.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed the case last week for lack of jurisdiction.

The operator of a medical-marijuana dispensary in Bellingham, Martin Nickerson, sued because he was being simultaneously prosecuted for marijuana distribution and targeted by the state Revenue Department for not collecting taxes on marijuana sales. He argued he couldn’t pay the tax without incriminating himself.

But the judge agreed with the state’s lawyers, who argued that federal law required the case to be brought in state court.

Nickerson’s attorney, Douglas Hiatt, said he filed the lawsuit in federal court because he believes federal judges will ultimately have to decide whether states can regulate and tax marijuana while it remains federally  illegal.

He plans to refile the case in Thurston County Superior Court.

Comments | More in News | Topics: Douglas Hiatt, Marsha Pechma

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►