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Colorado not as dope as we thought?

Regulate it and tax it! In the official proposal dated Feb. 18, Colorado’s  Gov. John Hickenlooper requested an additional $28 million in state funding for regulation of pot in the state for the time period July 2013 through July 2015 (two fiscal years). There was already $29 million allocated for enforcement and public safety in 2013. Of course, those state funds would easily be offset by the sales tax generated right? Not so much.

From Big Government.

… in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million [in sales tax] from recreational pot shop sales.

From CNN Money.

Colorado raked in about $2 million from taxes on recreational marijuana in January, the first month it was legal to sell non-medicinal pot in the state.

I’m thinking Jan. 2014 was a banner sales month in the state just because it’s so new, but even if the high sales continue, that’s income of $48 million over two years, as compared to $57 million in state expenses. They lost $9 million. They did bring an extra $1.5 million in for medical sales for the month, but that revenue has already been coming in prior to July 2013.

The annual state income was estimated to be $70 million in the measure approved by voters, and the governor had a more bullish $98 million per year estimate. (NORML uses overall tax revenue figures in the billions.) From Bloomberg, dated Dec. 31, 2013.

Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue, according to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly. Wholesale transactions taxed at 15 percent will finance school construction, while the retail levy of 10 percent will fund regulation of the industry.

The grand plan was sold to voters in Colorado as a great tax generation scheme, and it looks possible the state will barely break even, and could lose money after hiring and spending for the “regulation” side of the equation.

I want to point out I really don’t care if pot is legal or not, it’s the fact the politicians and the folks on the pro-legalization side always point to the tax benefits for the state and local community, which is total hogwash.

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10 Responses to "Colorado not as dope as we thought?"

  1. ricbee says:

    I don’t care if the state makes a dime either,but am very glad that pot smokers won’t be going to jail for their stupidity.

    • I’m curious. Do states put people into jail for smoking pot? Certainly arrested. Certainly a ticket. But jail? I’m not talking about DUI cases or multiple intent-to-sell offenders, I’m talking about people who got busted for smoking or possession.

      I’ve been under the impression even if you are arrested a couple of times for possession, you certainly don’t end up in jail or prison. If so, I’d like a few links to examples.

  2. scheidel21 says:

    What I don’t get is why is it costing more to enforce now than before? If it was illegal before and now it’s legal you aren’t really enforcing new laws, just different ones.
    As far as doing Jail time for Mary Jane that depends on how much you have on you, and the laws in your locality. As you know in CT it’s been decriminalized under a certain amount but that’s not the case everywhere.

    • I’d still like to see information – for any state – where jail time is a result of simple possession of some weed. Again, not talking about amounts falling into the intent to sell category, or DUI. Just possession for personal use.

      My bet is there are very few if any people spending more than a few hours in jail during booking for simple possession.

      In other words, I think the “people in jail just for smoking a little weed” argument is hogwash.

      • ricbee says:

        What usually happens is that the smoker doesn’t show up in court,or violates his probation several times,then he faces other charges.  Or is within so many yards of a school & makes some smart remark to a thin-skinned cop,maybe he has a scale(I did)& is charged with dealing.Or he kid is in the house & he’s charged with child abuse.

  3. SeeingRed says:

    Not an atypical Democrat revenue program.  Overcount/overpromise future revenues and then immediately begin to spend the $$.  Being in the ‘red’ is right at home for these folks.

  4. Lynn says:

    Steve I looked up federal law. Possession of any amount of marijuana is one year jail. http://norml.org/laws/item/federal-penalties-2

    • If you can find ANYONE, anywhere that was actually federally charged, convicted and put in jail for holding a small amount of dope – again, not tied to other charges or distribution – send me an email with the case please.

    • I realize there are plenty of laws that SAY you could be jailed, but nobody seems to be in jail for smoking a joint even though people CLAIM (over-and-over again) there are actual people – in jail – for “just smoking a little dope.” It doesn’t happen.

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