Left to right: Jorge Hernandez Tinajero, President, Collective for an Integral Drug Policy, Mexico City, Mexico; Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform, Bristol, England; Beau Kilmer, Co-Director of RAND Drug Policy Research Center, Santa Monica, CA; me; Congressman Julio Bango, Represente National at Parlamento Uruguayo, Montevideo, Uruguay; Sam Kamin, Director, Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program and Professor, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, Denver, CO; Dick Reinking, Senior Policy Advisor, Gemeente Utrecht, The Netherlands. Not pictured: Moderator Graham Boyd, Counsel to Peter Lewis, Santa Cruz, CA.
This session took place Thursday, October 24, in Denver, at the biennial conference of the Drug Policy Alliance. I indicated that I thought taxes in CO and WA were maybe unavoidably wrong by having static rates, probably wrong by using a percentage of price base, and nearly certainly wrong to the extent they collected tax later than the choke point (punto de embudo — we had simultaneous interpretation). I learned a lot from the rest of the panel — different from my days with Congress, when most panels consisted of all tax lawyers, and the occasional relief came from a tax accountant or tax economist.