Marijuana News Roundup: No State Wants to Be Left Behind in Pot Legalization

AUTHOR: Paul Ausick 24/7 Wall St. March 12, 2017

Whether or not California’s recent approval of recreational marijuana is the catalyst, there are as many as 17 other states looking seriously at legalizing pot for fun. Essentially, state legislators see money lying on the ground and they want to pick some of it up.
Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, collected $200 million in tax revenue last year. Washington hauled in $256 million. When recreational marijuana use is finally implemented in California, estimates call for tax revenues of around $1 billion a year.
In Maryland, state legislator Mary Washington introduced a bill that would tax marijuana in the same way the┬ástate taxes alcohol. She was clear about her motivation: “Our focus is on revenue and bringing in cash to the state as legalization becomes more and more widespread.” The Los Angeles Times cites Washington who estimates that such a tax would produce net revenue to the state of about $165 million a year.
In Rhode Island, for example, some 59% of residents now support legalization. Combine that with the last year’s legalization vote in neighboring Massachusetts and that’s a potent brew for state legislators always on the lookout for new revenues that don’t involve raising existing taxes. As a Rhode Island legislator said, “We see legalization moving into the New England area and out here it’s a very regional economy. Why give Massachusetts all the benefit?”

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