Colorado’s marijuana tax is creating quite the tax tow. In January of 2014 alone, over $2 million in taxes from the legalized recreational drug were added to state coffers, busting officials and politicians’ wildest dreams of a cash influx.
According to MSN Money on Monday, the “tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold from 59 businesses.” From that, the state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.
January marked the first month that Colorado legalized pot was allowed to be sold to adults over the age of 21. The layers of taxes imposed assured that the state benefited with a hefty tax haul.
The question now is – What is the state going to do with all that cash?
“The biggest problem is actually how to spend the money. It’s not exactly a terrible problem to have,” Forbes' Kelly Phillips Erb wrote. “Voters approved a law last year that requires the first $40 million collected from the special excise taxes to be directed towards school construction. But after that? The state hasn't yet decided to do with the money.”
They say crime pays? Not exactly. Legalize a former crime and tax it and it really pays. – Forbes.
According to the Denver Post, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed using the tax money, ironically it would seem, to fund anti-drug campaigns aimed at kids. State police chiefs have asked for a cut, as have school districts, local governments and just about every other municipality and state-run office.
However, budget makers say the “market” for marijuana is extremely volatile, and with no state previously having any projected numbers to base forecasts on, it would be premature for Colorado, or any state looking to legalize weed, to start counting their joints before they are rolled, so to speak.
“The whole world wants to belly up to this trough,” said Sen. Pat Steadman, a Denver Democrat who serves on Colorado's budget-writing Joint Budget Committee.
“There probably is a tendency to want to just grab on to this revenue from marijuana and feed my own pet projects, and I don't think it's going to be that simple,” said Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado.
Where do you think this cash should end up? Sound off below.