Whether or not California’s recent approval of recreational marijuana is the catalyst, there are as many as 17 other states looking seriously at legalizing pot for fun. Essentially, state legislators see money lying on the ground and they want to pick some of it up.
Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, collected $200 million in tax revenue last year. Washington hauled in $256 million. When recreational marijuana use is finally implemented in California, estimates call for tax revenues of around $1 billion a year.
In Maryland, state legislator Mary Washington introduced a bill that would tax marijuana in the same way the state taxes alcohol. She was clear about her motivation: “Our focus is on revenue and bringing in cash to the state as legalization becomes more and more widespread.” The Los Angeles Times cites Washington who estimates that such a tax would produce net revenue to the state of about $165 million a year.
In Rhode Island, for example, some 59% of residents now support legalization. Combine that with the last year’s legalization vote in neighboring Massachusetts and that’s a potent brew for state legislators always on the lookout for new revenues that don’t involve raising existing taxes. As a Rhode Island legislator said, “We see legalization moving into the New England area and out here it’s a very regional economy. Why give Massachusetts all the benefit?”
We Know Less About Marijuana Than We Think — Here Are the Biggest Mysteries Researchers Are Trying to Solve
Marijuana is easier to access than ever, with more than 20% of Americans living in a state that has voted to legalise recreational use — and a majority living in states that have legalised medical use.
But when you talk to researchers who study cannabis, they say there’s still a lot we don’t know about marijuana.
There are a few big studies happening right now that should for the first time offer some answers to essential questions.
In many ways, it’s the age of access to pot.
As of last November, more than 20% of Americans live in states that have voted to legalise recreational marijuana use. A majority live in states that allow access to medical marijuana.
Read more at Business Insider.