Marijuana: 30 percent pot tax is reasonable and voters will pass it, activist says

Categories: Marijuana

For one thing, a poll commissioned by Amendment 64 proponents showed that support for taxes in the range approved by the legislature was strong, with 77 percent of those surveyed saying they would vote in favor of them.

amendment 64 watch party casselmans brian vicente.jpg
Brian Vicente celebrating Amendment 64's passage this past November.
"Polling shows that almost 80 percent of the public is going to vote 'yes' on this," Vicente stresses. "And we're going to be supporting these taxes in the same way the Governor says he's going to -- and we expect law-enforcement agencies and others who want to see this model be regulated to support them, too."

As for the level of taxation, he considers it to be "fairly reasonable for consumers. It allows people to buy marijuana from regulated storefronts for, really, the first time in history. So I don't think folks are going to be scared away from doing so by a 30 percent tax."

Of course, some people would like taxes to be even higher -- not just opponents who believe that super-expensive pot could lower consumption, but also regular backers of elevated "sin" taxes on products like alcohol and tobacco. In Vicente's opinion, though, "there's a fine point between taxing this too much and keeping a vibrant black market or taxing it an appropriate amount," thereby undermining illegal activities. "If taxes are 40 or 50 percent, I think some people might still go to the black market, but 30 percent is not too high. We want to establish a moderate amount of tax that guarantees revenue for the state without being overly cumbersome for consumers."

The worry that these taxes might not pay for the state's marijuana program is unfounded, he feels. "Every researcher, think tank and report that's looked into this in an unbiased way concludes that Amendment 64 will produce tens of millions of dollars for the state. It's probably going to be close to $50 to $60 million for the state coming out of the pockets of cartels and going into state coffers. This is going to provide a tremendous amount of funding for schools -- and we think the funding will be there."

Of the non-tax-related bills passed by the legislature, the one that troubles Vicente most is the THC driving limit, which critics say could criminalize medical marijuana patients and other regular users even when they're driving sober.

"Our concern is, 'Is this science-based?'" he acknowledges. "But we think it's good that there's now an affirmative defense for marijuana patients," as opposed to an immediate presumption of guilt if an individual tests with more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. "Our hope is that police won't be pulling folks who aren't impaired into the dragnet of the criminal-justice system. Only time will tell."

As for the other pot measures, he calls them "generally pretty strong. They establish a fairly comprehensive regulatory structure to go along with common-sense tax rates."

He's confident the average Colorado voter will see them as "common sense," too.

More from our Politics archive: "Marijuana taxes over 30 percent to start and other highlights from (almost) final pot bills."


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107 comments
Testecleese
Testecleese

Just out of morbid curiosity, what if Hickenlooper the Horrible doesn't sign the A64 legislation? Does it, as Chippi states, then revert back to local control? Void everything? A so called "pocket veto"? What exactly would happen? And why hasn't he signed it already, what's the holdup?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

There's nothing "reasonable" about a special sales tax on pot, "just because." They just couldn't help themselves. They had to pile on over and above the initial A64 15% excise tax.

Besides, taxation is theft.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Coloradans' ALSO voted to 'LEGALIZE' marijuana .

At least MANY, MANY, MANY, were mislead to believe .....

Sara Conrad
Sara Conrad

Not for medical patients, yes for recreational

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Hey WW--did Vicente say who they polled?---I heard they polled land lines only?  IMO who they polled is a huge factor because the only people I have heard say they will vote for it are anti pot people.  The people who voted for 64 that I know tell me they will be voting no on both.  Some have even realized that the excise tax is for school construction only---not teacher salaries, books etc. to fill the new buildings.  

And the fiscal impact statement that 64 paid for from last year estimated that the only new jobs created under 64 would be 372 construction jobs--no NEW cannabis businesses or employee's are expected according to them.  http://www.cclponline.org/postfiles/amendment_64_analysis_final.pdf

Gotta LOVE this marketing---remember the all the international press when the state saving 60 million under 64 document hit?  LOL!  and now were talking about the fact that it can't fund itself?   Excellent--the state can not be trusted after their state audit F grade on 3 years of MMJ  'enforcement' and if the regulations aren't implemented due to anything including underfunding---A64 then mandates LOCAL licensing--and I'm pretty sure we would all prefer LOCAL regulation as we have a better chance of impacting locally and avoiding the state's nonsense. 

I'll be voting NO on both--and hopefully the scampaign will learn that writing vague language into the state constitution doesn't pay off. 

Green_eyes
Green_eyes

This will keep the black market thriving.....

Jeremy Flores
Jeremy Flores

Tax it 100% for all I care since I don't partake myself.. But what is the Colorado govt going to do with the proceeds of this tax... Govt loves to tax more and waste... No more taxes until they get their spending in order.... Then tax it reasonably so not to be a burden...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "activist says" ... with activists like lyin' Brian Vicente, who needs jackbooted prohibitionist pro-law enforcement tax-and-spend bureaucrats?

How about a more honest and accurate label, eh Michael? ... perhaps Greedy Self-serving Unethical Mendacious McShyster ?



CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

"The federal government's continued silence on Amendment 64, the marijuana measure he co-authored." 

Really?  Becasue they are talking a lot to Gov. Nixonlooper

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2013/02/marijuana_john_hickenlooper_eric_holder_amendment_64_teleconference.php

Oh and I will sell to you tax free.  Welcome back to the blackmarket.  Oh and enjoy the rape needles.  The WASTEWORD should ask Vicente, why A64 offers no protections for the cannabis consumer and rather it invited the Cannabis DUI.

 (b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO ALLOW DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA OR TO SUPERSEDE STATUTORY LAWS RELATED TO DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA, NOR SHALL THIS SECTION PREVENT THE STATE FROM ENACTING AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OR WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA.

Propagandist Michael Roberts and the whore of a rag Wasteword strike again!

Ian Errl
Ian Errl

Yeah it's fine...let all the suckers pay the extra, and I'll keep buying from my neighbors.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... and the fools and tools who wrote, supported and voted for A64 agreed to steal from themselves! ... to the tune of $40,000,000.00 / YEAR ... MINIMUM!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg ... you can thank Fluffmaster Michael Roberts and Westweed for spreading that LIE far and wide.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Sara Conrad ... Bingo! ... even MMJ users are willing to TAX THE SHIT out of "other people" ... i.e. recreational stoners.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  ... lyin' Brian Vicente should be DISBARRED for his deliberate and willful FRAUD and DECEPTION upon the electorate during the A64 scampaign. 

Mendacious Mason Tvert should be denied donuts for a year ... and Rico Colibri should be deported to Nebraska where he can become the cop he secretly dreams of being.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Doesn't pay off for them, I mean.  After seeing the nonsense they came up with to me it's clear the local licensing is the better option under the crappy language we now live under. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Green_eyes .. only fools and tools thought A64 would eliminate the "black market" -- i.e. the typical individual marijuana user / grower / dealer.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Jeremy Flores "Tax it 100% for all I care since I don't partake myself"

Booooooooo yaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


Case
Case

Roberts said he was an "activist", but not a "legalization activist", so technically, WW could have meant that he was a "pro-prohibition activist", which would be accurate. I think that's a step in the right direction for WW. Maybe Roberts really is striving to be accurate by conveniently leaving out what KIND of activist Vicente is?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CoreyDonahue  ... For six months, a committee met weekly to carefully craft the language of A64 --

1 (III) DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SHALL REMAIN ILLEGAL;

6 (b) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED TO ALLOW DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA OR TO SUPERSEDE STATUTORY LAWS RELATED TO DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA OR DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA, NOR SHALL THIS SECTION PREVENT THE STATE FROM ENACTING AND IMPOSING PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF OR WHILE IMPAIRED BY MARIJUANA.


"Words are important" - Rob Corry

"The process was very intensive, every word was debated" -- Brian Vicente


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay@Cognitive_Dissident

"Why do you have ALL civilized societies?"

WAT

It's about time for you to lay off the sauce in the morning.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay @Juan_Leg  

You mean the, 

'Michael Roberts Presents, Westword' ????

He writes damn near the entire publication !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Case ... ACTIVE in spreading LIES, DECEPTION and FRAUD ... for his own personal pecuniary benefit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "Except the DUID law they felt the need to pass "

... oh, they passed it alright ... with the laxative induced by the lyin' liars who wrote and promoted that impacted festering turd known as A64.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

Except the DUID law they felt the need to pass because of their paranoia of Reefer Madness, which will undoubtedly snag some patients the day after they medicated, when driving unimpaired.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident

Glad it won't affect me.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident ... exactly why this taxing measure WILL pass ... because stoners are such a TINY minority -- and despised by such a LARGE portion of the general public -- that TAXING the SHIT out of THEM will be a piece of cake for most Voters.


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

There's nothing free market, or even free, about slavery -- Invented and supported by THE STATE.

They cannot take credit for abolishing what they created and what they made legal in the Constitution and supported with runaway slave laws.

"Capitalism" and exploitation of labor requires the state to remove the individual's options.

...and like a true troll, you've derailed the topic...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... "The Market" brought 1000s of years of SLAVERY ... as the highest and best use of FREE labor. 

It took THE STATE -- i.e. government -- to intervene and END that "FREE MARKET" capitalist exploitation of labor.

hth.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident 

It would function in this universe. It's called the market. it's what actually gets things done in "civilization."

"What's left to discuss about [my ideology]" You brought it up. You seem to believe it somehow besmirches me and my opinions.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident 

In what universe would that fantasy ever function?

We're in agreement on the idiocy and fraud perpetrated by A64 and the lyin' liars who promoted it, so what's left to discuss but your unbalanced, untenable socio-political anarchist philosophies?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  

In what alternate universe is it a bad idea?

Why do you depend on the ad hominem attack to change the subject when you're owned?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident "I believe all human interaction should be peaceful and voluntary. What's wrong with that?"

In what alternate universe has that happened ... ever?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  

I find it hilarious how frequently you retreat to the ad hominem attack. Why do you hate the truth?

You choose to use a term associated with leftist bomb-throwers. I'm not a leftist, or a bomb-thrower, so I do not associate myself with them.

I believe all human interaction should be peaceful and voluntary. What's wrong with that?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident @Juan_Leg @DonkeyHotay  

Much appreciated CD ......

I won't argue w/ anyone I can't punch .....

Including ALL women !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident

Cognitive_Dissident "I believe there is never any need for the state, at all"

Anarchist -- ipso facto

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