Colorado’s stoner class was responsible for spending upwards of $14 million during the first month of recreational marijuana sales, which ultimately filled the pockets of the state to the tune of over $2 million in tax revenue.
Earlier this week, the state’s Department of Revenue released updated statistics that show Colorado generated over $1 million more in state pot taxes during the month of January than previously anticipated. These figures combined with the state’s medical marijuana earnings, reveals that weed accounted for $3.5 million of Colorado’s bread and budder.
Marijuana supporters say there is no denying the strength of the cannabis industry in terms of producing tax revenue for states where it is permitted, and they believe the time has come for the United States, as a whole, to start taking legal marijuana seriously. "The month of January showed the world that taking marijuana off the streets and putting it behind a taxed, regulated counter can be done professionally, productively and prosperously," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. "Now it's time for Congress to reconcile outdated federal laws with those of states like Colorado that have decided to opt out of the failed experiment of marijuana prohibition."
However, some state leaders suggest tax revenue is no excuse to run out and legalize marijuana. Last month, during an episode of CNN’s “State of the Union,” Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said that while his state has decriminalized small amounts of cannabis and is currently moving forward on legislation to legalize medical marijuana, he does not believe the potential for huge tax revenue is reason enough to consider welcoming it for recreational use. “Let's not be enticed on that road because of money. It just doesn't make sense.”
Recently, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced an underhanded tax scheme that includes spending $45.5 million of the state’s hard earned pot taxes on anti-marijuana public service announcements. The governor believes the state should not be reliant on tax revenue from marijuana sales.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.http://i710.photobucket.com/albums/ww107/oo1jr/moneyrain.jpg