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Colorado Voters Approve Taxes On Legal Marijuana

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colorado marijuana legalization taxIn a move that didn’t surprise many people, Colorado voters yesterday approved a 15% excise tax and a 10% sales tax on legal recreational marijuana sales. There was some opposition to the proposition, but it was widely predicted that the proposition would pass. The final vote tally showed the proposition passed 65% to 35%. I know there will still be some people upset about how high the taxes are, but it could be worse.

Washington State is looking to tax recreational marijuana at a far higher percentage. Unlike in Washington State, Colorado residents have a very easy way to get around the tax – grow your own marijuana. Colorado allows home cultivation, while Washington State doesn’t. It could be even worse than in Washington. If someone lives in a state where marijuana is very much illegal, like say Louisiana, there is no amount of tax that can be paid for legal marijuana purchases, and if you grow it at home you could be looking at some hefty jail time and fines.

Before people get up in arms about the new taxes in Colorado, take a step back and try to get back in the mindset before the 2012 Election victory. Remember when everyone was saying that we should legalize marijuana, tax it, and have the revenue generated go to help balance budgets? If you were told at that time that legalization would become a reality, but it would come at the expense of 25% in tax, would you have taken the deal? It seems that only after the reality of the situation is setting in that some people are freaking out.

Would I like to see a lower tax rate? Of course. But would I throw legalization out the window in exchange for a different tax rate? Of course not, because legal marijuana taxed at 25% is better than no legal marijuana at all. We can fight the tax fight another day, during another election. For right now we need to remember that there are states that don’t have legal marijuana at all. I guarantee there is someone in Texas scratching their head wondering what all the fuss is about. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments section.

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58 Comments

  1. Pádráig O'Gáirmléadháigh on

    @ Boris….
    ……You ought look up the meaning of “Straw man argument” and if you still don’t understand it get someone explain it to you…..

  2. Pádráig O'Gáirmléadháigh on

    Here in Europe , Ireland and the UK specifically, we pay £350 per oz, which @ current exchange rates is $567. I don’t see what you gripe is. It isn’t a naturally grown plant any more? A lot of work has gone into breeding best strains and tastes and it takes a lot of work growing a commercial Marijuana garden, what with security needed etc….Would you rather it was still illegal so more people will end up in privately run gaols??

  3. Started on Jan 1st at $100 per 1/4 ounce as a general price. So make that $125. As of today, due to demand the price has raised to $400 per 1/4 ounce. Do the math on that sales tax.

    I’m not a psychic, but I think the market will fizzle with the local Coloradoans, and stay strong with the tourists, since in Colorado you can now grow your own.

  4. I’d just grow my own. Little effort needed, much lower cost. Money will still be saved in not chasing and incarcerating people for pot.

  5. I saw info about prices of $60 for an eighth of an ounce in Colorado. That would be $480 per ounce – although it’s likely to be cheaper for a larger quantity. Seems like quite a lot for a naturally growing weed.

  6. Wrong the first time. The question is, whom do you tax? Answer: the far-less-than-1% who own this country, and are actively working to raise YOUR taxes, and lower their own.

    You’ve been duped. Stop drinking the kool aid.

  7. I read not long ago that the overhead for Medicare is 3%. In Canada, the overhead for their national health care is ONE PERCENT. Social Security is self funding, such that the government has repeatedly borrowed from it to cover other temporary expenses. So, in at least those instances you’re completely mistaken. You’ve been willingly drinking the kool aid again. Do you really think the Koch brothers have YOUR interests at heart?

  8. I saw prices of $60 on an eighth of an ounce. I’m told that that’s around the same price as for illegal pot, in my area. So, it seems to me that it should be MUCH CHEAPER where it’s legal. People are getting gouged. It’s a weed that will grow almost anywhere.

  9. Scott Sherwood on

    No, My bad, I was in a crappy mood. Our fight has resulted in loads of POW’s for our cause, me included. Since you asked, I’m a member of my local NORML chapter, ASA and a member of the work we are doing for 2014’s initiative. Since The Compassionate Use Act, 215, passed in ’96 our state has been reduced to a mish mosh of local ordinances and DEA raiding our collectives. Since the law is not clear it invited the police to use what ever means necessary to close us and keep us closed. I say good frickin’ luck boy-o.All I can do is write to some of them and tell them we are behind them the POWs in federal custody.

    We are lucky in CA in this way, most of the regulations we have to abide by are count and city ordinances. The state law, 215 is so vague they left it up to the local politicians. Thus all the trouble. When county’s have 99 plant limits there is plenty of product out tere and the outdoor guys also have indoor set up’s as well. What I said was I can grow a pound outdoors for $200.00 including paying for trimming. I also said I saw $99 ounces being advertised in Colorado. I guess you misunderstood. We grow the shit out of it here in CA and you can walk into Any collective and sell them pounds if you have enough cards and you sign up as a supplier for the collective.

    You are right about changing the laws as we go along, nothing is set in stone. We here in CA will never stop growing it. Me included. I use cannabis both for enjoyment, to expand my mind, and for my health. I’m paralyzed on my left side so I have to take pain meds as well as cannabis. Cannabis also helps my ADHD and OCD both. So for me it is both recreational and medicinal.

    Peace be with you canna warror

  10. In the past Californians and Texans were moving here at almost an equal number. I would hate to say we need more people moving here, but, we could use more Texans to bring back the balance. Although right now we are getting balance with pure education on the issues and all that. So get up here!

  11. As far as being blind, no.

    As far as Hate? That is harsh, how about a large dose of trust issues.
    Just remember about these 40 years of fighting…
    why and who were you fighting for legalization?
    What was your concession?

    And no, this is not a left right thing, legalization wasn’t either, don’t kid yourself.
    And especially on this issue, the tea Party is not your enemy. No I am not Tea Party.

    And no, Dispensaries aren’t affected by the taxes directly, but dispensaries
    do have their own regulations to deal with about growing the product. And
    a handful of harmful business practice laws which I hope you aren’t dealing
    with out in Cali.

    And no, price and Taxes are not the same thing although Taxes do affect the price.

    I am not arguing the price because in Colorado we can grow our own. Which makes price a useless argument except for those who can’t grow for various reasons.

    The main reasons people will purchase retail is Convenience and Potency, and whatever cult inducing packaging and marketing tactics they use.

    Growing your own will not cost anywhere near $99 an ounce. The only time it will cost anything more than your first set of seeds (if you really need to purchase them) is in the winter when we need to use grow lamps. And whatever additives you wish to purchase for your plants nutrient intake.

    Thanks for ~clearing things up. I agree, that is it a good thing that legalization has taken place. The fact that we can grow our own is the key to the entire legalization.

    I don’t smoke or use it for the psychoactive effects personally but I do use it for the health benefits. And many many people have been helped including children with a wide range of diseases due to the legalization. Most of which seem to be moving directly to Colorado Springs from all over the country. Colorado Springs being the Conservative stronghold of the state… just saying.

    Positives:
    1. The tax won’t effect me at all out of pocket.
    2. The Proposal was written much better and more succinctly than the $1Billion increase proposed by our governor.
    3. It is still a way to get around TABOR, though our school buildings definitely need some upgrading.
    4. There are ways to tinker with this legislation in the future.

    Thanks for your part and your brothers and sisters efforts out in Cali, and Colorado citizens accept yours in return. Soon the rest of the nation will be thanking The 3 heavyweights in this fight Colorado, California, and Washington, just as soon as they start coming to terms with the Government brainwashing about this natural health inducing plant and begin to see all the benefits not only when it comes to health but the many other related products and “industries” that will come out of the legalization.

    The politician statement was in kind, just a little ribbing. Nothing more.
    Keep it on the level.

  12. Scott Sherwood on

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I only know about CA’s 2014 initiative. I know very little about CO’s law. Price is what this whole argument is about. Do you know how much it cost me to produce sun grown weed. $200 a pound that is with trimming cost included.. I have seen adds out of CO for $99 sun grown ounces You think 25% is going to make that big a difference in the end result? We fought for 40 years to get this legalized, regulated and taxed. now you are complaining about a little tax?

    I’m not a politician but a dispensary owner. If you prefer the way it was, change the law. Thousands of my brothers and sisters have lobbied for this change. The clock is not turning back now. Don’t pay the tax, buy your stash in the underground market, it won’t make a dam bit of difference in the long run. I may sound like a politician but you sound like an anti-government tea party-er. Your rant regarding the money already wasted on schools make that pretty clear. Your hate for all things government has blinded you to reality.

  13. And some cities are not allowing retail sales which will feed your point about MMJ. However in cities where they do allow retail sales it will be the convenience I am sure. And the fact that the consumer doesn’t need to be on a government list. Although yeah, they could get it from someone with a card, but not everyone will do that.

  14. Additionally citizens can grow their own and have up to 6 plants that are mature at one time. Good luck regulating that.

  15. Are you kidding? LOL. That’s like someone from Colorado trying to sell beach sand to Californians.

  16. Please separate your points between CA and CO so it is clear.

    I am happy that you are happy about where the money will supposedly go.

    “Built in” doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It simply means it is passed onto the consumer as a part of the increased cost of business. The 15% that is “built in” is built in between the producer and the retailer which equals a 15% markup, and then at the POS it will be marked up an additional 10%. Each one is a tax. Each one will be paid by the consumer. And this 10% is of course on top of current city, county and state taxes.

    You sound like a politician talking like that. ;)

  17. If you voted No on the tax, Marijuana would still be legal… they would just need to find the money to make all their new regulations work. Then make a more reasonable proposal next election cycle. So your NO vote would have no effect on how many people get sent to prison. ;)

  18. It does seem nice doesn’t it? If it truly does get there and stay there once it arrives, it will be a great thing.

  19. I’m not suggesting you do anything illegal. But If you do it, and you come to colorado and purchase Marijuana, it is likely going to be 1000% better than anything you get on the street. Unless you are very well connected. This is especially true with the MMJ establishments. But to purchase from them you need a medical card. You need that card even after January 1st 2014.

  20. Scott Sherwood on

    A bunch of yammering about nothing. I’m more than happy to pay 25% if I need my weed. Of course CA’s new 2014 initiative has a 10% special producers tax attached to it. and says to the local communities they can not apply a tax that is too high or interferes with the operation of the dispensary. Only sales tax you will see. the rest is built into the retail price. I’m all for those dollars flowing into education, and I have no kids. One more thing, Medical Marijuana is exempt from this tax.Only recreationl pot is to be taxed.

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  22. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it a straw man, boris. For instance, mischaracterizing anyone who supports taxing cannabis as a — what was it — “tax loving statist” who will “destroy the legal trade” …now that’s an uncharitable mischaracterization (aka, a straw man). Even Grover friggin Norquist is Ok with this tax, but it’s just too “statist” for you. Well sorry, Boris. I’d rather stop sending people to jail and pay taxes to build schools instead of wasting time indulging your tea party ideals.

  23. Pádráig O'Gáirmléadháigh on

    if you think that was a straw man argument, then you don’t know what you are blathering about. Facts are facts.

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