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Report Finds Colorado Marijuana Regulation Initiative Could Generate $60M In The First Year

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Colorado MarijuanaNearly $60 Million Saved and Generated for Colorado in First Year; Up to $120 Million in New Revenue and Savings Projected after 2017

A new report released today by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), documents that Amendment 64, the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, would provide the state savings and tax revenue of nearly $60 million in its first year. According to the report, the state is conservatively projected to save and earn up to $120 million annually after 2017.

Amendment 64 proposes a system to regulate and tax marijuana in Colorado similarly to alcohol. In addition to state and local sales taxes, the initiative directs the General Assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on wholesale sales of non-medical marijuana. This limit can be increased after 2017. The general state and local coffers will receive all but $80 million of that revenue. The other $40 million is earmarked to a Capital School Construction Fund.

“Amendment 64, based on these estimates, would generate $24 million in state revenue for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program,” says Christopher Stiffler, Economist, Colorado Center on Law and Policy. “Leveraged with local dollars, that investment could mean over 350 new jobs, the majority of which will be in the construction industry.”

“This significant report highlights the burdensome cost of maintaining marijuana prohibition in Colorado and the new revenue that could be generated for school construction and other critical services,” says Art Way, Senior Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance. “In addition to keeping countless marijuana possession offenders out of the criminal justice system, Amendment 64, as demonstrated in this report, allows the voters to support fiscal prudence, robust regulation and sensible reform.”

“This report confirms that by regulating marijuana like alcohol we can generate significant new revenue and savings for our state and localities, and create much-needed jobs,” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting Amendment 64. “Not only will Amendment 64 result in immediate savings; it will quickly grow into a major revenue stream for Colorado.”

Key findings of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute report. Amendment 64 will generate:

  • $12 million in instant savings for the year following legalization because of reduced criminal costs. As courts and prisons adapt to fewer and fewer violators, annual savings (compared to a pre-legalization year’s budget) will rise toward the long run savings level of $40 million.
  • $24 million new tax revenue generated from excise taxes on the wholesaler (all of which is promised to the Colorado Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund).
  • $8.7 million in new state sales tax revenue.
  • $14.5 million in new local sales tax revenue.
  • 372 new jobs (217 of which are construction) from school construction projects on behalf of the Building Excellent Schools Today Program.
  • TOTAL $60 million total savings/additional revenue for Colorado’s Budget with a potential for this number to double after 2017.

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance

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9 Comments

  1. The “report” is 100% bullshit!

    A64 does NOT legalize marijuana — not even close.

    The absurd estimates in the bogus report FALSELY assume that Marijuana would be 100% legal — and even then the numbers are absurd. Fact is, A64 leaves in place 99.9% of the existing criminal laws against marijuana due to its absurdly minuscule limits on possession, growing and total ban on private sales.

    A64 is a CONTINUATION of CRIMINAL PROHIBITION, with extra Taxes added.

    A64 REDUCES to 1 ounce from the already decriminalized 2 ounce limit in Colorado, and INCREASES the age from the existing 18 to 21.

    A64 only allows 3 (three) flowering plants, and only for those over 21, leaving anyone under 21 or anyone with 4 or more plants exposed to FELONY charges.

    A64 does NOT allow ANY private sales between consenting adults, not even 1 gram.

    A64 is a joke and a fraud, promoted by pro-Law Enforcement, pro-New Taxes, pro-Big Government regulation shills and proven liars.

    1 ounce + 3 plants + No Sales =/= Legalization
    .

  2. TIM IS LYING OR MISINFORMED!!! on

    That’s a Lie Tim(or should I say no on 64 troll). Even Lumping in 64 with “I-502” is VERY MISLEADING. Anyone who has any common sense will not doom the movement by voting no on 64 and by default for Prohibition after cali’s failure in 2010 and Colorado own disappointing vote for prohibition in 06…..

  3. Sorry Run Hilton(Anonymous),you don’t Understand MORE people will end up prosecuted under this BADLY WRITTEN LAW! NO on 64 in CO, NO on I-502 in WA, WE The 99% just want the Elimination of the Failed DRUG WAR! No need for Baby Steps “Parent”

  4. You are preaching to the choir. However, A.64 still needs your YES vote as a first step towards toppling prohibition. A.64 can only pass if it gets 50.1% of the vote, and therefore has to be moderate to do that. It doesn’t mean new initiatives will stop in the elections after! This is just a good first step!

    Practically, voting no on 64 will just continue the illegality.

  5. I really don’t understand the position that anything other than a perfect legalization law is not acceptable. Essentially what they are saying is the current system is preferable to an imperfect legalization effort. OK, but the problem with that philosophy that these people don’t seem to understand is that no law will ever be perfect for everyone. If a miracle happens and some day in the future a law comes along that a particular group views as the ideal law, just as many will view it as less than ideal and oppose it. It doesn’t take a genius to see that you can’t please all the people all the time. You take what you can get, and work with what you have to make things better.

  6. TimothyTipton on

    NO Mention of the New Prisoners of the Failed Drug War as a result of 64, being out of compliance. Sorry, but Bad Laws for Regulation are not Legalization. We EARNED that over 70+ years prosecutions, which won’t end with 64.
    NO on I-502 in Washington, NO on I-64 in Colorado! The Failed Model in CO involves continual hints perverse payolla from new industry execs to state officials and politiians involving sex, and all kinds of other indiscretions which got the MMED/DOR more $70,000 smoked black suv’s than they had actual employees.  We live in an Age of Truths.  Truth is, this activity is unacceptable in our Free, Open and Democratic Society.

  7. Amendment 64 proposes, but when it comes to general retail sales of cannabis, the Feds dispose. While it is true that the Federal government does not have the resources to persecute everyone who transacts cannabis, the Federal Controlled Substances Act, present enforcement policy, and the interests of the prohibitionists all militate against the possibility of regulated sales of non-medical cannabis in Colorado anytime soon. We might expect Federal threats to commence upon passage of the Amendment, and anyone who obtained a State license to sell cannabis to adults would be arrested on the first day of business. Amendment 64 will effect a modest reduction in criminal liability for cannabis and declare some use and cultivation of cannabis to be “not unlawful”, but to project $48 million in new tax revenue is absurd — that number should be zero for the foreseeable future.

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