Colorado's marijuana tax revenue (January)

Further to this thread ’
Colorado: the beginning of the end of Prohibition (recreational cannabis use)?’.

Revenue for January is presumably distorted by the novelty/unique value but looks, at the very least, pretty interesting:


And an interesting step from the Feds:

Early days still, however the world seems not to have fallen apart … and there is some sense we are probably establishing a new mainstream reality.

I think a lot of states are taking a wait and see approach at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a large number of them are already looking into doing something similar. My WAG is within 10 years the majority of states will have adopted similar plans (unlikely they all will since there are still dry counties/areas in the country that don’t even allow alcohol sales, there will always be places that won’t allow MJ either, mostly for religious reasons).

I’d guess that if many states adopt a similar legalization plan that the price will drop, but that tax revenue will go up to the levels we receive from alcohol and tobacco today…at least. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

What’s the UK’s stance on this? I seem to recall that the UK took an ‘it’s illegal but we don’t enforce’ stance, but it’s been a while since I was there and don’t know where things are today.

The real question is how many States legalizing marijuana would it take to get marijuana’s status changed at a Federal level. Until that happens this is still a dicey business to get into. On the news last night they were talking about how marijuana businesses are still having trouble getting banks to take their money, leading to them holding it in big vaults in the back of the shop. Recipe for trouble for sure.

In other news, the ATF has changed its name to ATFM

I know it’s early but have there been any reports on overall crime or DUI arrests in Colorado? I would expect DUI to go down a bit.

People who drink too much and drive and still going to do it I’m afraid. I’ve know (and represented) a lot of drunk drivers. They’re generally not the type to simply switch to Marijuana. Drinking is part of their life. Plus, although “illegal” before, most people smoked pot about as much as they wanted to. I have yet to be convinced that prohibition of marijuana impacted many people’s decision to smoke or not smoke.

I have seen that more people are testing postive for marijuana after driving arrests. My guess is that they’re simply checking more now. It used to be very rare for anyone to test for marijuana impairment unless there was a death or serious injury.

The news story I watched last night also mentioned that they hadn’t noticed any real change in DUI or accident stats.

Those are some pretty good points Procustus. Still, I can imagine that now that MJ is legal that people who normally smoked it at home will go out. I’m holding out some hope!

I’d imagine the key is legislation in Colorado was driven by a ballot/referendum, and not by a politician or politial party. I guess it’s difficult for most mainstream politicians to turn 180’ after decades of the bogus ‘War on Drugs’.

Why not? What would it take to convince you? I, my boyfriend, and most of my extended family would smoke legal weed. We only don’t smoke weed because it’s illegal in our states. I can’t procure it without associating with shady people, which I choose not to do. But I’d be quite happy to trundle down to the pot store and pick up an eighth.

Mrs 2sense might also climb on board if it were legalized. For her the deterrence is the social stigma of having your name published in the local paper as a criminal. Though she has a job where she might have to, but never has been, asked to pee in a cup. My mother and her boyfriend in Michigan are retired and on medical marijuana but my sister and her husband up there have jobs where they can and are tested periodically. If it’s legalized and stops being a condition of employment I think more people would smoke and thus increase the tax revenue further.

I’m not firm in my conviction. Just personal observations. I know people who smoke pot, legal or not. I know people who don’t, but don’t really care to. I don’t know many (any?) who would like to but don’t because it’s illegal. I am willing to accept that there is a larger group than I expected who are like you and your boyfriend.

I don’t (anymore) because it’s illegal. I probably would if it were on par with tobacco (I smoke cigars) or alcohol (though I don’t drink anymore either at this point). The only reason that I might not if it were legal is price…if the price point were too high that might affect my decision. Same goes for if tomorrow Cuban cigars were available…I probably would buy them, but if the price were sky high I would probably refrain except occasionally.

When you say more people are testing positive, do you mean above the five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood limit or just that more people are testing above zero?

I’m sure they are testing more often but there is actually no test for current impairment, which makes relying on testing to determine DUI problematic. Testing for THC in the blood is not reliable since it lasts far longer than the high (days or weeks compared to hours).

Of course, the THC limit in Colorado is supposedly high enough that it will miss 90 percent of users DUI. If you make it too much lower, it will indicate a positive for habitual users whether high or not while missing less frequent users that are currently high.

Sorry if all that is a sidetrack from the topic of this thread. Maybe discussing enforcement of DUI and other related laws in states where marijuana is now legal is better to put in a dedicated thread.

I also anecdotally know people who don’t smoke, but have said they would try it, if it were legal.

I expect that this group is less likely to talk about it. People who smoke will often talk about it openly, telling stories and so on. People who disapprove of drugs for a variety of reasons will often talk about it openly in relation to a variety of contexts (often, but not always, disapprovingly). People who don’t care for the risks inherent in breaking the law but have nothing against the action are much less likely to find themselves in a context to mention it.

So lets say there is a bump from opening the stores which drops off but as it becomes more socially acceptable (and stops being a path to unemployment) that turns around. Lets say it levels off around $5 million a month in (nonmedical) marijuana for Colorado. That’s a dollar per person per month. Here in Pennsylvania that only amounts to .002% of our state budget. Hardly paradigm-shifting. That’s a really really small amount to justify legalization, IMO.

I think legalization is justified by “freedom.” The revenue is just a bonus.

On the other side, how much less is spent on enforcement, prosecution and prison?

60 million would be .3% of Colorado’s 20 billion budget. Not sure why you thought it was useful to use Pennsylvania.

There is an implicit pro-legalization argument in, “Look at how much tax money Colorado is bringing in.” From my perspective I’m not comparing it to prohibition but with decriminalization. For me the question is, is the tax income worth giving corporations a financial interest in getting as many people as possible to consume THC?

I live in Penna so I know what I’m getting for my tax money. I was looking for a comparison to a reasonably well funded state government. I don’t know how things work in Colorado but I tend to associate the square states with cheapskate GOP fuck-the-poor-style governmental services.

Also my math didn’t add up. I forgot to move the decimal point. So it’s .2% here. That’s a lot closer to what I would consider a solid justification. Hurm.