Revenue from marijuana will be small at first, because highly taxed legal commerce can’t beat the black market. RAND’s 2015 Insights for Vermont makes that point clearly. Liquor taxes had to stay low for a while after Prohibition was repealed, as 2011’s “Laws to Tax” pointed out.
Elected officials in Colorado are having to explain that to the public. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Peter Marcus in the Durango Herald, titled “Hickenlooper: Marijuana not a budget savior”:
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday said now is not the time to consider marijuana tax revenue as a new funding source for Colorado. . . . Continue reading Marijuana revenue requires patience
Canadians, like North Carolinians, say they prefer the safer alternative for marijuana commerce – government control of retailing. The RAND Report for Vermont explains why government stores are safer, and more cautious. This HuffPo article explains why government stores are not impossible in the United States.
Here are the results of the recent poll in Canada, where several provinces allow liquor sales only through government outlets. :
“When asked how legal marijuana should be produced and sold, the largest group opts for a distribution system where large corporate growers only are licensed to grow marijuana and it is sold through government agencies like liquor boards (45%), Continue reading Gvt stores favored
Ohio’s Issue 3, which would have created a marijuana cartel and enshrined a primitive tax structure and low tax rates in the State Constitution, is going down to a landslide defeat. Maybe the legalization community will offer the public a better deal.
About my two pieces for Huffington Post on the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Issue 3: As of 7 a.m. EST today, one has 8,900 likes on Facebook; the other has 18. That’s nearly 500 times more.
The popular one comes out firmly against Issue 3. The other one quotes the Bible (Jacob and Esau), and is more nuanced:
[I]is marijuana prohibition a bigger problem for America today than corrupt government — government where moneyed interests call the shots and seize the spoils? That’s for every voter to decide. Continue reading What Readers Like
I would probably stop opposing Ohio Issue 3 if it had this kind of provision, from today’s new California initiative:
“Except as otherwise provided [in rules that make amendment easier], the provisions of the Act may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to further the purposes and intent of the Act.” Continue reading CA better than OH 3
Ohio’s “Issue 3” plan to legalize marijuana is the worst serious plan I’ve seen. It creates a permanent cartel, and puts Constitutional cap on low, primitive taxes — forever. I oppose it as hard as I can. Freezing primitive price-based taxes is a deal killer from my tax policy perspective
But it could be worse.
— The wealthy folks who corner the market don’t appear nefarious. At least with Issue 3 voters aren’t faced with a deal where the money goes to, say, the KKK. (Some consumers say nothing matters but the consumer, and they don’t care where the money goes. What if, instead of to garden variety rich people, the money went to ISIS? Continue reading Faint praise for Ohio 3