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Honorable Mark Sanford

Representing the 1st District of South Carolina

Sanford Supports Small Business Tax Equity Act

Oct 23, 2017
Press Release
Bill would allow businesses who sell cannabis same tax deductions as other businesses

Washington, DC – Earlier this month Congressman Mark Sanford signed on in support of H.R. 1810, the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017. Below is his recent Facebook post explaining his reasoning:

It’s often one thing to talk about ideas...and another to act on them.

Such is the case with federalism, the idea that the government most local to the people should have a voice. The Founding Fathers were in fact explicit about stating that those powers not specifically reserved for the federal government were to be controlled by state and local government...and even me and you as individuals. It’s a great concept, but it’s a difficult one.

I say this because people like the idea, but oftentimes when something comes along that they don’t like, they don’t mind having the federal government supercede state and local government to advance their belief. But that’s not federalism.

This idea very specifically applies to marijuana policy, wherein many states have legalized its medical use, and yet federal policy still works against what the states have decided. Whether you’re for or against the medical use of marijuana matters less than whether we really subscribe and adhere to the founders’ belief in federalism...because it was one of the key balancing tools to offsetting an overgrown and controlling federal government. In short, even with ideas we may not like, it’s important to adhere to federalism if you believe in limiting the size of our federal government.

It’s for that reason that I cosponsored the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). This bill would allow businesses who legally sell marijuana within a state to make the same deductions offered to other businesses. The principle here is simple, if a state makes something legal...it ought to be treated on par and equally with other legal businesses in the state.

In just the last year alone, 28 states passed laws allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana, but because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, small businesses in the states that sell marijuana legally are not allowed to deduct business expenses.

Again, federalism is hard...but I think the Founding Fathers got the combination right in recognizing that all knowledge and wisdom did not disseminate from Washington. States should be allowed to try different approaches, some will work, some won’t...and in that process, ideas will be tested and our country can be the better for it. At minimum, states will be more than rubber stamps for an all-knowing and all-powerful federal government...exactly as the Founding Fathers planned.