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Medical marijuana expenses not tax-deductible in Arizona

PHOENIX — Medical marijuana may be legalized in Arizona, but residents cannot deduct the costs from state taxes.

According to Sean Laux, chief legislative liaison and public information officer with the Arizona Department of Revenue, Arizona yields to federal guidelines when it comes to determining what can be deducted as a medical expense. Beside the federal government not recognizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, Laux said the primary reason why medical marijuana falls short is because it is not prescribed.

“Our understanding is that medical marijuana is not being prescribed by doctors, it’s merely a recommendation, so for that reason it doesn’t qualify,” he said.

Laux said adding medical marijuana deductions to tax forms could leave people open to tax liabilities if they are audited.

He said anyone who has already filed a return with medical marijuana deductions should refile an amended return with the medical marijuana expenses taken off.