Legalization in Colorado May Not Pay for Itself

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  Legalization in Colorado May Not Pay for Itself

Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2013 at 18:42:42 PT
By John Ingold, The Denver Post 
Source: Denver Post 

Colorado -- Legal marijuana in Colorado may not bring in enough money to cover the societal costs of legalization, a new study from a Colorado State University think tank concludes.The analysis, by the university's Colorado Futures Center, also argues that revenue from marijuana taxes won't do much to help Colorado's budget and that money generated for new school construction won't reach the $40 million annual target that supporters of marijuana legalization set when campaigning for Amendment 64, the measure that legalized use, limited possession and commercial sale of marijuana for adults in Colorado.
"These questions are of even more concern in light of our expectation that the most productive marijuana tax years will be the years just after legalization," the center wrote in its report.The study is one of several seeking to predict the unpredictable: What will the state look like with legal marijuana."The future holds more unknowns than knowns," four national marijuana-policy experts wrote in a recent editorial examining the implications of legalization votes in Colorado and Washington.The predictions largely hinge on how much legal marijuana people will buy and smoke in Colorado. The Colorado Futures Center, citing federal studies on drug use and other references, estimates that demand for pot in Colorado will hit 2,268,985 ounces a year — more than 70 tons.Using a retail price of $157 per ounce before taxes — and assuming that proposals for a 15 percent excise tax and a 15 percent special marijuana sales tax pass with both lawmakers and voters — the center estimates annual tax revenues starting in 2014 at about $130 million.SnippedComplete Article: Denver Post (CO)Author:   John Ingold, The Denver PostPublished: April 24, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Denver Post Website: openforum denverpost.comCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #11 posted by Hope on April 27, 2013 at 11:51:37 PT
If the state proves to be unable to afford
the over regulation of cannabis, it shouldn't over regulate it.Smarter yet, would be to put governmental cannabis regulation in the purview of a bureaucracy that already exists and really could be putting in more work for their wages anyway. There's bound to be more than a few of them. Expensive regulation is all just make-work and red tape production anyway. Just adjust some of the present employees job descriptions. How many pencil pushers and computer jockeys does it take to regulate cannabis in a legal state?That will be interesting to see.
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Comment #10 posted by John Tyler on April 25, 2013 at 19:44:37 PT
$157, really
“four national marijuana-policy experts wrote in a recent editorial examining the implications of legalization votes in Colorado and Washington”, and blah, blah, blah. I wonder who these so called experts are. Are they just prohibitionists by another name, or are they really open-minded cannabis experts? Seriously, the marijuana-policy experts I have heard of know very little about cannabis.
And as for paying for itself…we don’t ask if anything else is paying for itself.
The people voted for legalization because it was the right thing to do, not because it would pay for itself.
And the price of $157 the so called “experts” mentions is totally out of bounds. You would think an “expert” would know that. If you can produce an ounce of potato or corn chips in a vacuum sealed bag for a dollar, what do you think an ounce of cannabis should cost that would take even less processing. An ounce of loose tobacco in a foil package cost less than $3 at a convenience store. A pack of cigarettes just cost $5. These "experts" can’t seem to get their minds around the fact that it is legal. People will not pay that much. The real economic benefit of legalization will come from savings on law enforcement, court costs, legal costs, and jail and prison cost (I just name all of the beneficiaries of prohibition) and the increase in economic activity the new businesses and employment a legal cannabis industry will create.  
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Comment #8 posted by mexweed on April 25, 2013 at 17:18:55 PT:

Expect savings, not costs
1. Where do they get a "retail price before taxes" of $157? Doesn't everyone know most of the retail price today consists of rewarding the suppliers for a ton of bureaucratic precautions to avoid getting caught? Will it really cost more than $10 to produce an ounce of sifted dry herb ready for 900 tokes?2. "Societal costs of legalization"? Savings will certainly result from reducing $IGARETTE tobacco addiction recruitment among youth, namely a huge reduction in the CDC-estimated $193-billion yearly cost to the US economy of $igarette addiction including $97-bil. for medical costs and $96-bil. for lost productivity. Not to mention the results of substituting cannabis for alcohol and other health disasters.3. "How much legal marijuana people will buy and smoke in Colorado'-- there you go again, assuming people will still SMOKE, once legalization takes away the fear of being caught possessing a VAPORIZER or a ONE-HITTER. Users will prefer STRONGER herb, but USE LESS-- a 25-mg vape toke (or two) instead of a 500-mg monoxide joint. Don't count on that tax money.
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Comment #7 posted by Swazi-X on April 25, 2013 at 13:59:32 PT

Lose the Fed Menance First
The highest revenue will be immediately after the feds no longer lurk in wait of picking off the easiest targets. Cannabis won't be legal for everyone until the feds get their heads out of their a**es and recognize the Constitutional rights of individual states to regulate this plant as they see fit.If you truly want to calculate "cost to society" of legalizing this wonderful weed, don't forget to include those who substitute it for alcohol and therefore don't die of an O.D. at some party, and the increase in available law enforcement to deal with actual crimes instead of chasing potheads around. Then look a little down the road and include the death of Big Pharma and their stranglehold on our health care system when more people understand that cannabis cures many of those high-profit diseases our physicians can't seem to fix like cancer, diabetes, autism, asthma, etc. The true cost and benefit to society is not measured in dollars at all really, but rather in real freedom and true health.And for those of you who don't want to get high, eat fresh flowers and leaves - undried,picked right from the plant,unheated. Smoothies work great, and a nice sativa will give you energy for hours while filling you with desperately needed cannabinoids for balanced function of all your organs.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on April 25, 2013 at 11:34:43 PT

pay for itself
what does this mean - cannabis must pay for "itself"? This is total propaganda nonsense!!! Nothing "pays for itself". People pay each other as part of exchanging goods and services.This is really interesting. I think what they're struggling to say is that the 1/2% elite may not be able to exploit the 99% well enough with legal cannabis. Right? The bankers and various families, DuPonts, Rockefellers, AIG/Goldman folks. It may not pay THEM as well as Prohibition does, eh? That must be of great concern.Reading this stuff helps to clear the veil of brainwashing from my mind and see what the goals really are. They want an entirely "closed" society, both from a civil liberty and economic perspective. Everything will be illegal by thousands upon thousands of federal, state, and town regulations, insurance and other corporate rules. Only a very narrow range of personal and economic activity will be permitted, and only in a such a hyper-regulated and policed manner such that the political and financial elites extract 98% of the value added.Now, we begin to see what they mean by asking the question, Will cannabis pay for "itself". Now it begins to make sense

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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on April 25, 2013 at 06:27:59 PT

The GCW #4
"Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, released President Barack Obama's 2013 strategy for fighting drug addiction Wednesday at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. The strategy includes a greater emphasis on using public health tools to battle addiction and diverting non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prisons."
-Drug czar: Marijuana legalization won't change mission.The 10 Hardest Drugs to Kick.
The Fix / By Jacqueline Detwiler. 
April 23, 2013.
Drug and alcohol use spikes wildly during the 30-day run-up to New Year's Eve. But which drugs are actually most addictive? The answers may surprise you. READ MORE», Gil. Cannabis is not even on the list of the 10 most addictive drugs.
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on April 25, 2013 at 05:59:51 PT

Drug czar: Marijuana legalization won't change mission
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on April 24, 2013 at 22:06:41 PT

It's not about the money but it is.
Rather than count chickens before they hatch, first happily acknowledge there will be chickens. Previously, there were no chickens and no eggs.Additionally, there will be money saved by tax payers. (Well, not really, politicians and government will just waste it somewhere else.) Cannabis prohibition cost money. Of course it's a money maker that requires spending money to make money. Citizens spend money while greedy people make the money.Ultimately, it's not and should not be a money issue. Some greedy people who used to make money are upset that other greedy people will be getting it instead.We're RE-legalizing the beneficial plant either way, while prohibitionists figure out if it's a money maker or not.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on April 24, 2013 at 20:54:22 PT

You don't know until you try...
conjecture etc. etc.It's like, doomed to fail because of all the nay sayers...Let's do what voters intended and then see what happens.
Pot Law
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Comment #1 posted by anomalies on April 24, 2013 at 19:55:28 PT:

Sorry, But the income will be A LOT higher than they think, or are at least reporting, This study can't be right and is making me think that someone got paid off.Even if i'm incorrect,any moneys made will be more than they had before. Keep greed OUT of it and there will be plenty to go around AND keep it here in the USA. 
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