US judge dismisses Washington marijuana tax case

SEATTLE (AP) -- 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 federal illegal.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Bad Move
    Jason Rantz says I-594 cites a bad example for gun control

  • Healing in Oso
    Oso fire chief remembers deadly mudslide on 6-month anniversary

  • Wilson's Win
    The Seahawks have the NFL's single biggest difference maker
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.