Colorado and Washington Legalized a Plant
The above two states are our nation’s first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Possession of the plant is still a crime under federal law. The legal clinics and dispensaries that are selling weed in these two states could be federally prosecuted if and when the federal government decides to get involved. For now, it seems that the federal government is taking a hands off approach, allowing the states to regulate the plant on their own. After all, the federal government lets states exercise the enforcement of the death penalty or the abolition of the death penalty as they so choose. One would think if the individual states can be trusted with the decision to kill or not to kill their convicted denizens, well, they might be able to regulate a plant without federal intervention.
So Far the Tax Man Wins
According to Colorado’s governor, as reported by the Associated Press, John Hickenlooper, the tax revenue from legalized pot sales is projected to be 98 million dollars in the first fiscal year. This revenue is from a 12.9 percent sales tax rate and a 15 percent excise tax on recreational weed. Medical marijuana is subject to only a 2.9 percent sales tax.
Where The Weed Tax Will Go
Colorado’s governor has outlined a spending plan for the marijuana tax revenue. The money will be spent in the following areas: 1. youth use prevention 2. substance abuse treatment 3. public health 4. media campaigns regarding marijuana use 5. an anti driving while stoned campaign 6. a 105 bed residential treatment facility and 7. school construction.