For decades, cannabis advocates of every stripe have been telling everyone who would listen that we need to legalize and tax cannabis.
I don't think this is what they had in mind: a Colorado legislative committee is proposing a ridiculous 30 percent state tax on cannabis, according to Huffington Post:
The House-Senate committee, which will introduce a bill this week drafted from the 58 recommendations that the pot task force issued last month with taxes being one of several issues the committee is considering, would ask voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and a 15 percent special sales tax. Those rates plus existing local and state tax rates — for food and beverage sales in Denver, the the combined total tax rate is 8 percent — could mean a total tax rate of 38 percent on marijuana purchases in the Denver area.
I'm down with taxes - even high taxes - but this is beyond the pale. I'm not sure what these people are thinking. They're either horribly naive or purposely trying to discourage legal sales.
In Arizona, we have no cannabis tax. Only normal sales taxes apply, which vary slightly city to city but in Tucson is 9.1 percent. Tax rates like the ones proposed in Colorado would only drive people to the black market.
It would also destroy many, many cannabis shops in and around Denver by sending their customers clamoring to either buy on the sly or grow their own, which Colorado's new cannabis law allows. It would put people out of work.
Mr. Smith does not approve. Hmpf.
Clint Smith is a teacher, writer, and doctoral candidate in Education at Harvard University studying incarceration, education,… More