Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

12-2016

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Anna Mahony

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks

Abstract

The recent legalization of recreational marijuana in eight states has raised the question on what will occur when tax season arrives. The federal government has figured out ways for distributors of medical marijuana to legally claim the income on their taxes, but what about in states that have legalized recreational marijuana? This thesis project will be focusing on what is being done to prevent distributors in states that have legalized the drug for recreational use from being arrested for selling marijuana. States have put laws into place to hopefully protect their distributors, but even if a state has created protection laws, distributors are not safe against the federal laws.

This paper focuses on marijuana’s history and the various uses the drug had before being placed on the Schedule I Drug List. The paper continues to discuss the long standing political platform, known as the War on Drugs, and how it has impacted the usage and distribution of marijuana. Break downs of federal policies show that banks and credit unions can have bank accounts for recreational distributors through the Cole Memo and the FinCEN. These documents can help those states that have legalized the drug recreationally to create a stepping stone in taxation of marijuana sales. With the idea of recreational marijuana being so new, government officials and the public are waiting to see what happens.

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