High On Tax Revenue

Colorado is set to become the first state to regulate and tax the recreational use of marijuana.  Don’t expect it to be the last.

The Colorado legislature has passed a series of bills dealing with marijuana.  In the wake of a 2012 voter initiative that approved recreational use of marijuana by people over 21, the legislature has decreed how many marijuana plants people can grow for their personal use (no more than 6), how much marijuana visitors to Colorado can buy (a quarter ounce), and how marijuana offered for sale must be packaged (in child-proof containers that specify potency).

As far as taxes are concerned, Colorado ganja will be subject to a 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax.  In other states where the sale of “medical marijuana” is taxed, significant revenues have been obtained; in California, $100 million is raised annually from such taxes.

We can expect other states to follow Colorado’s lead, for entirely predictable reasons.  States need cash, and that means they need things to tax.  Through “medical marijuana” exceptions, the use of recreational drugs has become increasingly accepted by Americans — and that use is largely untaxed.  With Colorado, and Washington, and other states taking the lead, what state legislator who’d like to have a bit more revenue to spread around to his pet programs can resist a marijuana tax?  At all levels of government our politicians are addicted to taxes, and this is another way for them to get their fix.

3 thoughts on “High On Tax Revenue

  1. This is a long time coming. It’s wise to decriminalize. I know of many lives annihilated by prescription drug use or alcohol use, both regulated by the government, but not one that has been destroyed from smoking weed.

    I do not smoke pot because it makes me either paranoid or is the catalyst for a manic cleaning frenzy, neither of which is especially fun for me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s