First, it was the irresistible Siren call of the the lottery bounty that made the hearts of avaricious state legislators around the nation go pitty-pat, but now there is marijuana, their new inamorata. In joyful news from earlier this week, the AP reports on the tax revenues arising from Colorado’s new legal pot law:
Colorado’s legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.
The initial tax projections are rosier than those given to voters in 2012, when state fiscal projections on the marijuana-legalization amendment would produce $39.5 million in sales taxes next fiscal year, which begins in July. The rosier projections come from updated data about how many retail stores Colorado has (163 as of February 18th) and how much customers are paying for pot. There’s no standardized sales price, but recreational pot generally is going for much more than the $202 an ounce forecasters guessed last year.
Mason Tvert, a legalization activist who ran Colorado’s 2012 campaign, said other states are watching closely to see what legal weed can produce in tax revenue. “Voters and state lawmakers around the country are watching how this system unfolds in Colorado, and the prospect of generating significant revenue while eliminating the underground marijuana market is increasingly appealing,” said Tvert, who now works for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Yep. I think there is a danger that legalizing marijuana will follow the same path as lottery legalization. As states, especially the blue and purple states, continue their profligate spending practices, they will become so desperate for funding that they will get into the drug business just as they got into the gambling business. Anyhoo, for the full article, click HERE.