In a recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, former state Assemblyman Pat Hickey asserted that marijuana tax revenues are a pipe dream. This is apparently his way of attempting to undermine support for Question 2, the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol. The problem is, Mr. Hickey has absolutely no basis for his assertion.
In fact, we have every reason to believe that Question 2 will not only produce more than $20 million annually for K-12 education in Nevada, but it will generate an additional $40 million annually for other state and local needs. We are confident about this for two reasons:
First, Nevada-based RCG Economics, in conjunction with the experts at the Marijuana Policy Group, produced an 88-page report detailing projected marijuana sales and tax revenues that would occur if Question 2 were to pass. For the seven years from 2018 to 2024, they projected an average of $60 million annually in total tax revenue.
Second, these marijuana tax revenues are not hypothetical. We have seen similar taxes implemented in other states and they have delivered as promised. In Colorado, the exact same 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana that is included in Question 2 in Nevada has generated $45 million in the past 12 months. There, $40 million annually was promised for schools. The law has delivered on the promise.
Overall, marijuana sales in Colorado generated $141 million in tax revenue at the state level in fiscal year 2015-2016. Localities like Denver also imposed their own sales taxes on marijuana, generating tens of millions of additional tax dollars.
Of course, direct tax revenues do not even tell the full story about the fiscal benefits of regulating marijuana. The same report cited above projected that the legalization of marijuana would result in approximately 6,200 jobs and an overall economic impact of $1.1 billion annually in Nevada!
Mr. Hickey and other opponents of Question 2 discount or simply ignore this evidence. And the strangest thing about it is that they dont even seem to understand that by opposing the regulated market they are basically working on behalf of gangs and drug cartels which are the beneficiaries of the underground marijuana market. We want regulated businesses and taxpayers to reap the benefits of marijuana sales, not criminals.
Heres the truth: Marijuana is objectively far less harmful than alcohol. Its less addictive, it’s less toxic and its not associated with aggressive or violent behavior. In a society in which alcohol use is not only tolerated but accepted, it makes no sense to punish adults who choose to use marijuana.
So lets make marijuana legal for adults and enjoy the substantial benefits that will result from legal sales. Please vote Yes on Question 2.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: One View – Marijuana Tax Revenues A Promise, Not A ‘Pipe Dream’
Author: Joe Brezny
Photo Credit: Josh and Jen Barut
Website: Reno Gazette-Journal