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L.A. Could Tax Medical Marijuana To Fund Housing For The Homeless

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Los Angeles is considering nine different fundraising ideas to enable the city to build more housing for the homeless, including one that would put a 15% tax on the sale of medical marijuana. Los Angeles recently came up with a plan to help end homelessness in L.A. by building more supportive housing. The problem is that this plan is going to cost nearly $2 billion to execute. That's a little more than your average bake sale funds.

City budget analysts have come up with nine different ideas as to how the city might raise those funds, KPCC reports. Many involve extra taxes—such as on real estate sales or billboards—but the most interesting may be a proposal to tax medical marijuana by 15%. As it stands, such a tax could raise about $16.7 million each year, and more if California decided to join states like Oregon and Washington in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. According to city documents, several other California cities—including Riverside County cities, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs—have already passed similar taxes.

Another idea is making it so that developers either have to build low-income housing or pay a one-time fee that would be used to build such housing elsewhere. Councilman Mike Bonin is not a fan of the first idea, worrying that developers in affluent areas would choose the fee every time, resulting in a lack of low-income housing in certain neighborhoods.

You can check out all nine ideas for yourself here.

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Pro-marijuana activists are looking to put the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which advocates for the legalization of marijuana for those 21 and older, on the Nov. 8 ballot. So far, they've raised over $2 million and gathered at least quarter of the 365,880 total signatures needed by April 26. Of those funds, $1 million comes from Napster co-founder Sean Parker.