Marijuana Tax: Activists Think Wishfully

Activists in Colorado are lining up to oppose a referendum that would tax recently legalized marijuana there for the first time.  The DC-based head of NORML has a more realistic view:

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, says “It’s going to be taxed, frankly speaking, at vice levels . . . .  Not many things are taxed in America higher than 10 percent, except vice, like gambling winnings or tobacco or booze.”

Untaxed marijuana is as unlikely politically as a Federal tax cut for marijuana businesses.  If the Colorado activists win their battle against taxes, public backlash against or Federal crackdown will sooner or later wipe out the legalization they just won.  Prices that are too low will backfire.

UPDATE:  The Denver Post agrees that Colorado NORML is making a mistake.


Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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