Amendment 64 opponents threatening to repeal measure if tax rates aren't high, campaign says

marijuana on plate 205x205.jpg
Amendment 64 opponents are threatening to force a repeal of the measure allowing adults 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana if legislators don't approve a sales tax that's higher than necessary to cover costs.

That's the claim of A64 proponents, who have scheduled a press conference for 11:30 a.m. this morning to lay out their case.

Below, activist Mason Tvert offers us a preview.

"According to lawmakers at the State Capitol, Smart Colorado has been floating the idea of referring a measure to voters that would repeal Amendment 64 if a special sales tax of 15 percent does not pass," Tvert says, adding, "This amounts to extortion of the voters. They're being told they must approve a higher tax level proposed by legislators or otherwise the constitutional amendment they adopted in November would be repealed."

Smart Colorado's response? We reached out to the organization, and -- update -- have just received a response from spokesman Eric Anderson. He denies that Smart Colorado came up with the concept, attributing it instead to unnamed legislators. But the organization thinks the notion is worthy of consideration.

eric anderson.jpg
Eric Anderson.
Here's an excerpt from the statement, which appears in full below:
Amendment 64 backers sold the ballot issue to Colorado voters as a way to pay for state priorities like education but increasingly it's looking like it could be a net drain on the state budget. Amendment 64 raised the possibility of new taxes on marijuana but didn't enact them. If voters don't now approve new taxes on marijuana, Colorado's budget will take a major hit and Amendment 64 will have exactly the opposite effect from what was promised to voters.
In the meantime, here's some context about the tax question. As Dean Toda, spokesman for the House Democrats, explained in a marijuana-legislation update yesterday, House Bill 13-1318 deals with implementing the tax structure for retail sales of cannabis under Amendment 64. "Because of TABOR, any new taxes have to be referred to the people," he told us. "So the bill sets up a referendum this November on the creation of an additional sales tax of up to 15 percent on recreational marijuana and an excise tax of up to 15 percent."

While the excise tax is specifically mentioned in Amendment 64, a sales tax is not -- but concerns about the cost of implementing the law have risen lately thanks to a report from CSU's Colorado Futures Center. The full analysis is below, but there are its main five points:

1. The adult recreational marijuana market in Colorado will be $605.7 million and taxation of that market will bring an additional $130.1 Million in state tax revenue in fiscal year 2014‐15.

2. The 15% wholesale excise tax created by the amendment will not reach the goal of $40 Million for school construction as stipulated in the ballot language approved by voters.

3. The high water mark for marijuana tax revenue is likely to be in the first few post‐legalization years with revenue flattening or declining thereafter.

4. Marijuana tax revenues may not cover the incremental state expenditures related to
legalization.

5. Marijuana tax revenues will not close Colorado's structural budget gap.

The fourth and fifth items above can be seen as arguments for a sales tax. But the higher the taxes, the higher the cost to consumers -- and the likelier use will be suppressed.

Is this the Smart Colorado strategy -- to win taxes that are so high fewer people will use marijuana, thereby potentially causing the industry to fail?

Continue for more about the alleged threat to repeal Amendment 64, including the new study.

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127 comments
Blunt
Blunt

In the event A64 does not survive the challenge will possession of an ounce still be legal?

If an ounce is still legal but there are no stores, regulations, taxes that would still be a decent situation.  Feds would not be hassling the state for having decriminalized an ounce.

Don Johnson
Don Johnson

OMG,.. I'd almost forgotten the brain damage that garbage does to the human being! And how many brain damaged people it took in November to legalize that garbage in our otherwise beautiful state! The chatter of repeal needs to grow to a deafening roar if anyone in Colorado is concerned about the welfare of their children and grandchildren! Watch this video if you have any doubts about the consequences of amendment 64. http://video.foxnews.com/v/2328316051001/watters-world-denver-pot-convention-edition/

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

As for Stupid Colorado, it consists of few more people than Rachel O'Bryan, failed psychologist Dr. Christian Thurstone, his wife, and drug addict Patrick Kennedy -- these fools are in no position to force anything on the People of Colorado, except that they have the ear of Gov. Hack.  I, for one, would like nothing better than for the GA to refer an initiative to the voters to repeal Amendment 64, along with the prohibitive taxes proposed in HB13-1318 -- what better way to force an understanding of how unrepresentative these idiots are upon the electorate?  Bring it on; we'll defeat your tax intended to kill legal sales, and when the People realize the monumental effrontery of our legislature seeking to overturn what a large plurality of the voters just passed, we may be able to get rid of some of the fascists like Dan Pabon from the GA too.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

We would be better off if every single one of these pigs went to Washington -- or, preferably, to the Devil. There are decent police officers, but their superiors constitute an imminent threat to our lives and liberties, and should be treated accordingly. The supposed "land of the free" now imprisons more of its own people than any other nation on Earth, and those responsible do not deserve the protection of our laws. Stripping these parasites of their citizenship and expelling them our country is too good for them!

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt topcommenter

Eric Anderson....kindly go suck a cock.  I hear that Christine Tatum has a rather large one that she is willing to let you practice on before you move on to sucking Turdstone's.


Thanks.

Monkey
Monkey

I would vote for a 500% tax on commercial weed. Fuck commercial weed. Fuck regulating weed all together. I want weed legalized, meaning de-criminalized on every level. Remove penalties without creating regulation and the weed finally be free. If we cage it in more bureaucracy, that's all we'll get, more bureaucratic bullshit, with new prohibited acts added every year. I don't want weed regulated like alcohol or tobacco, those industries are among the most corrupt in the country. Amendment 64 should have been real easy, remove all penalties related to marijuana, and the people would have voted for it. But they had to fuck it up so bad in the hopes of fooling a few opponents by including city nullification, tax burdens and soon to be un-realistic regulations that it's lost all meaning. It didn't legalize weed, it removed the penalties for an amount of weed cops never cared about anyway. Fuck commercial weed, you can shove it up your greedy ass. I'm going to grow, use and "assist" anyone I want, because it's the right thing to do, and the government wont get any extra taxes, fees or inspections from me, besides the income tax generated from my services. The rest of you can pay for the enforcement of a so-called legal flower, but I'm not.

Case
Case

The real problem is that A64 allows the General Assembly to propose unlimited taxes on cannabis. Why didn't the authors curtail the ability of the government to tax it? As another commenter pointed out, this is just another way of prohibition through taxation, just like the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively outlawed marihuana through the charging of exorbitant taxes. Perhaps stupid stoners really will be willing to pay a 30% tax on their weed so they can have the convenience of buying it in a retail store.   But plenty others are going to tell the government to fuck off and grow their own and distribute it underground, just as always. The only difference will be, under A64, the stupid stoners that are willing to pay the 30% tax will now be funding the law enforcement goons to arrest and prosecute the other stoners who don't want to pay a 30% tax to fund the police.

The scary thing is that A64 is going to be the "model" for "legalization" for the rest of the country.

stuka1
stuka1

@zztop 

A64 has been GREAT! It's been nothing but a dream since it passed. 1 ounce of marijuana in Colorado used to be a CRIME, but now it is perfectly legal. Now we can all grow our own as Gawd intended, and keep everything we grow! And soon there will be stores, clubs, parties, and all kinds of interesting gatherings and gathering places with this amendment. It was planned by the writers for the benefit of everyone, and we'll be happily keeping legalization, and improving on it in the years to come.

If you don't like things as they are now, you are REALLY going to HATE the future.

stuka1
stuka1

@Blunt  

WHAT challenge?  These prohibitionists can do nothing more than bluster and posture. They know they aren't going to get anything like a repeal by any means.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Blunt "In the event A64 does not survive the challenge will possession of an ounce still be legal?"

Not recreationally.

Under the "Medical" Marijuana charade known as A20, you could possess 2 (two) ounces -- or more as medically necessary -- legally under State law, provided you obtained a physician recommendation.

Recreational possession of up to 2 (two) ounces was already a petty offense under Colorado Statute before A64, no jail time, only a $100 fine.




Thisis_Insane
Thisis_Insane

@Don Johnson Mr Johnson, you need to put down the crack pipe and back away...

stuka1
stuka1

@Don Johnson<==== senile old fossil bleating Reefer-Madness bullshit. 

HipTip, old fuck: The world has changed and you are welcome to leave it. You bigoted dinosaurs are quickly dying out, and no one wants to hear your pathetic death rattles complaining that you sorry old fucks can't control it any more. Your time is gone. It's our time now.  If you don't like the future --= and you are looking at it -- then go ahead and die and be done with it.


PS: Your superstitious religion is on the way out with you, too.  And good fucking riddance.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all"   -- Robert Chase

"I am not even a registered patient"   -- Robert Chase

.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

"People who opine as you do have no place in a free society"
-- Robert Chase

.


Case
Case

So true, Monkey. It was clear that "regulation" was the wrong direction to go as soon as Colo. created a whole new branch of law enforcement in 2010 (the Medical Marijuana CRIMINAL EnFORCEment Division) that was dedicated to going after all the new mmj pot "offenses". Colo. never had a branch of law enforcement dedicated to pot, but now we do, and thanks to A64, they now have CONSTITUTIONAL authority. A64 says that the cops can do *whatever they want* in the name of "regulation". Repeal A64 and start over would probably be the easiest way to get to real legalization. There is no realistic way to crawl your way out of this regulatory quagmire that A64 is creating, one baby-step at a time.

stuka1
stuka1

@Case 

 "The only difference will be, under A64, the stupid stoners that are willing to pay the 30% tax will now be funding the law enforcement goons to arrest and prosecute the other stoners who don't want to pay a 30% tax to fund the police. "

Except for that inconvenient little fact about everyone 21+ being able to grow our own and keep everything we grow.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Case Interesting take, Case. Thanks for the post.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

@shamanhawk I don't see Glen Beck out trying to do away with A64, I see a bunch of liberal democrats working really hard to kill A64. So you will ask who, let me see the Dem gov., a dem rep from NW Denver, the dem administration. Before you start blaming the right for the problems with A64 maybe you should look at the left that created it and the left that is trying to kill it. I don't see much of the right even talking about it. Anything done by the Colorado congress will be done by a dem mojority. But obviously you are a mathmatic challenged liberal who has no clue about taxes, government or the economy.

stuka1
stuka1

@zztop  

Jeez, WTF happened to zztop? Run away?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Thisis_Insane @RobertChase 

Arrests Prevented by the fraud A64 = ZERO!

Possession of a pathetic ounce was already a NO ARREST petty offense under existing Colorado Statute before A64 ... in fact the Statute allowed anyone of any age to possess up to 2 (two) ounces for rec. use. 

The pathetic turd that is A64 EXCLUDES EVERYONE under 21, and only allows one ounce.

Reduction in Arrests for Possession = ZERO !!


stuka1
stuka1

@Case

"Repeal A64 and start over would probably be the easiest way to get to real legalization."

So stop your whining and get cracking. There is much work to do.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 @Case

Q: how much cannabis have YOU given away?

stuka1 "None, asswipe!  I follow the law,"


Q: what law prevented you from giving away marijuana?

stuka1 "No law. I simply haven't grown"


stuka1
stuka1

@JimTom 

"....a mathmatic challenged [sic] liberal...."

LMAO @ spelling-challenged right-wing nutjob

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  <=== makes up LIES and lame excuses for voting FOR PROHIBITION.

Uses sock puppets to "like" its own posts. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1

A64 = a continuation of CRIMINAL Prohibition, with extra REGULATIONS and MASSIVE TAXES added for fun!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter



@stuka1 "A64 has huge problems."


.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  

Is there some point you are desperately trying (and FAILING) to make,you pathetic, miserable, angry, bitter prohibitionist tool?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1

Reduction in Arrests for Possession = ZERO !!


@stuka1 "A64 has huge problems."

@stuka1 "ANYTHING is illegal under 21 with A64 for rec purposes"

@stuka1 "DISPLAYING AND POSSESSING over an oz is illegal."

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay 

HipTip: Shit you make up =/= facts

hth you pathetic whiny pussy

YOU = voted FOR PROHIBITION

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter



@stuka1 "A64 has huge problems."

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  <=== has NOTHING better to do than troll blogs and "like" its own posts. How pathetic.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = OCD fail fail.

sucka1 "I have better things to do than respond to your inane babblings [sic]."

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay   <=== has NOTHING better to do in life than spam irrelevant copypasta.

@DonkeyHotayLoser

@DonkeyHotay And yet here you are, sexless, unemployed, pathetic, trolling the site every day on every article with your worthless vitriol and ignorance. Its no wonder why you dont have a partner- youre obviously obsessive, obtuse, and have a lack of intelligence surpassed by few. Why are you complaining about the site when you practically live on here, day after day after day? Dont shit where you eat, little troll. Maybe go outside once in awhile, get a hobby, maybe try growing a brain. Try finding something that you can actually offer, because you clearly have nothing to offer here- or in any other capacity in life. In short- get a life, you pathetic, cowardly, moronic loser.

QFTMFT.


stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay  

<==== has NOTHING better to do besides trolling the WW blogs all day every day for a year. What a pathetic LOSER.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay 

@DonkeyHotayLoser

@DonkeyHotay And yet here you are, sexless, unemployed, pathetic, trolling the site every day on every article with your worthless vitriol and ignorance. Its no wonder why you dont have a partner- youre obviously obsessive, obtuse, and have a lack of intelligence surpassed by few. Why are you complaining about the site when you practically live on here, day after day after day? Dont shit where you eat, little troll. Maybe go outside once in awhile, get a hobby, maybe try growing a brain. Try finding something that you can actually offer, because you clearly have nothing to offer here- or in any other capacity in life. In short- get a life, you pathetic, cowardly, moronic loser.

QFTMFT.


stuka1
stuka1

@JimTom <==== fucking idiot FoxTard who thinks the world is divided between RepubliTards and DemocraTards.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

@sucka1 typical reply when you can't argue the point you point out spelling errors.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay   <=== irrelevant copypasta FAIL

@DonkeyHotayLoser

@DonkeyHotay And yet here you are, sexless, unemployed, pathetic, trolling the site every day on every article with your worthless vitriol and ignorance. Its no wonder why you dont have a partner- youre obviously obsessive, obtuse, and have a lack of intelligence surpassed by few. Why are you complaining about the site when you practically live on here, day after day after day? Dont shit where you eat, little troll. Maybe go outside once in awhile, get a hobby, maybe try growing a brain. Try finding something that you can actually offer, because you clearly have nothing to offer here- or in any other capacity in life. In short- get a life, you pathetic, cowardly, moronic loser.

QFTMFT.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1

@stuka1 "BECAUSE, DUMBASS, A64 pertains to RECREATIONAL USE ONLY."

@stuka1 "Oh, I forgot it also legalizes industrial hemp"

@stuka1 "A64 covers recreational use ONLY"

@stuka1 "I *ONLY* post honest facts"

@stuka1 "I retract nothing."

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay   

Keep flailing and failing, asshole, it's what you do best.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 <=== lies like the lying cunt that he is, always has been, and always will be.


stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay <=== thinks a fenced yard isn't an "enclosed space"  FAIL.

@DonkeyHotay <==== thinks A64 bans outdoor growing and greenhouses.  FAIL.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = thinks his abject idiocy is a "paradox"

stuka1 "More like $600,000 for 100 acres."

LOL!

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay   <=== once again fails to grasp the many paradoxes of mathematics. And resorts to out of context quote mines. How pathetic you are.

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