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Tax Law

Pancho Villa and Three Hundred Million Joints

As everyone knows, Colorado recently legalized marijuana...

Here are some cool facts about pot in Colorado. The Colorado Futures Center estimates that demand for marijuana will hit 2,268,985 ounces a year... about 70 million grams. If you can roll five joints per gram, we are talking about three hundred and fifty million joints. There are only five million people in the state.

With all that pot being toked up, the folks in Colorado... are proposing a
15 percent excise tax and very special 10 percent marijuana sales tax on pot consumption... 

Okay so this is a big money grab. Everyone keeps saying that marijuana will retail for about $157 per ounce... the proposed taxes will bring in about $130 million a year. The modern day equivalents of Carrie Nation assert that the projected revenue will not cover the societal costs of extra law enforcement, public health, and human services. They want higher taxes. So we can have a debate about externalities and proper use of excise taxes.

... [L]ike lots of tax prohibitionists,... modern day Carrie Nations, believe they are doing God's work...

One more piece of pot trivia. The last line of the song La Cucaracha, the anthem of the Mexican Revolutionaries, is "Marijuana que fumar!" That means smoke marijuana. Picture Pancho Villa in tie dye listening to the Grateful Dead. Viva!


View David Brunori's opinion in its entirety on the taxanalysts® Blog.

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