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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The IRS Targets Drug Policy Reformers: New at Reason

By Reason Staff - March 05, 2019 at 08:00AM

A recently adopted IRS rule for tax-exempt organizations seems to violate the First Amendment by taking aim at groups that support drug policy reform.

The rule, described in an Internal Revenue Bulletin dated January 2, 2018, says the IRS will deny tax-exempt status to "an organization whose purpose is directed to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business relating to an activity involving controlled substances (within the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by Federal law regardless of its legality under the law of the state in which such activity is conducted."

As Washington, D.C., lawyers David Rivkin and Randal Meyer pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, that language arguably covers organizations that advocate legalization of marijuana, writes Jacob Sullum.

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