Marijuana: Denver's projected revenues from recreational pot won't cover expenditures

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Graphs and charts below.
How much pot is going to be sold next year in Colorado as a result of Amendment 64 is one of the great unknowns giving officials a headache as they try to predict tax revenues -- and costs associated with legalizing the once-forbidden plant are another. The City of Denver's financial department took a shot in the dark and presented its estimates of expenditures and revenues to a Denver City Council committee yesterday. The council is currently considering a flexible 5 percent sales tax with the possibility of increasing it to 10 to 15 percent.

When added to proposed state taxes, that would mean a 25 percent tax for the consumer. This is comparable to the tax on cigarettes, which ranges from 14 to 23 percent depending on the price per pack, according to Cary Kennedy, Denver's chief financial officer.

"Everything you are going to see is a forecast and it's a forecast without a base," Kennedy told councilmembers. "We don't have any experience on recreational marijuana sales, so the analyst from the budget office relied heavily on the state's assumptions when they calculated their estimates and forecasts."

With a 5 percent sales tax, the tax revenues for the city from recreational marijuana sales is predicted to be about $9.2 million -- but the projected expenditures are almost $9.4 million.

"All of our city agencies and the mayor have been actively engaged in making sure, along with all of you [city council], that we have responsible implementation and that the city provides appropriate regulation, enforcement, education, public safety and public health services so that we get this right here in Denver," Kennedy said. "But really, this is going to take a couple years of experience before we're really going to have a clear understanding on both the revenue side as well as the expenditure side."

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The expenditures break down into a variety of expenses under three main categories: regulation, enforcement, and health and education.

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For the enforcement section, the city will hire a multitude of employees -- including an additional attorney, four additional excise and licensing inspectors, two more planning and development personnel, two park rangers and 11.5 police officers.

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The regulation portion calls for seven additional planning and development employees, four excise and licensing staffers, four health inspectors, one fire inspector, and 14.5 police officers, six of which will be specifically for traffic and DUI's.

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The health and education portion also includes several new staff members, a youth awareness advertising campaign and a new Denver Cares van, which would transport intoxicated people to a detox facility.

Continue reading for the council members' reactions.


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116 comments
shadowmythproduction
shadowmythproduction

Personally I feel A64 is a complete failure, and quite meaningless in the pursuit of actual freedom. Supposedly you can grow your own plants, but almost all rental properties are still prohibiting the growing and usage of pot. Technically one could get kicked out of one's apartment for even smoking it. Most people live in rentals and do not own their own home.                    

   Secondly, you are still able to be discriminated against at work for smoking it, and can be fired if you do not pass a drug test. Third, police were less likely to harass you over smoking it before the law passed, than they are now. From what I understand cops are annoyed over the new law, and giving people hell over it whenever they can, more so than before A64, if caught smoking in public or anywhere outside the home.

    These bureaucrats act as if a flood of new smokers are going to manifest, which just isn't true. They now have created the new driving laws, which could mean someone today can test positive for high levels of THC they smoked yesterday.  These same politicians and conservative folk are claiming higher dangers for children, when it is a fact that violence and crime decrease in areas where there are high numbers of pot smokers, unlike alcohol, where violence goes way up. Do you see these people trying to make it difficult to get alcohol, or illegalize drinking publicly? No, because it is their drug of choice, and obviously far more dangerous to everyone, on the road and otherwise. They refuse to look at statistics in other countries, and are creating hype over issues that do not exist, even regulatory programs for these non existing problems.  

    These conservatives are so mad the bill passed in the first place, they are doing everything they can to undermine the will of the people, and only see democracy as good when it serves their needs in controlling what other people do. They are sore losers who figure taxing the hell out of weed is some kind of revenge, but the fact is consumers will just go back to their illegal sources, which I understand have better weed anyway.

   The way the new laws are crafted cater to the more affluent, making it difficult to even get in on the industry, with astronomical fees and ludicrous requirements.

   America for all of it's supposed reputation for freedom is a joke...even laws that give the illusion of freedom are strangled to death in red tape, greed, and religious ideologies rooted in superstition and lacking any logical creditability. Why bother with any of it, when you are just going to end up sorely disappointed EVERY TIME. We were better off before A64 passed, and it's passage has just made pot smokers more scrutinized, demonized, and harassed.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

It may just reflect the retrograde thinking of the DP's readership, but their online poll on Denver's proposed sales tax surcharge is running three-to-one in favor.  Oppose the tax?  Visit http://www.denverpost.com/opinionpolls?source=Subnav_Op_Polls and register your disapproval of prohibitive taxes on cannabis and the perpetuation of the black market.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@shadowmythproduction On second thought, you may not be a real person at all, but a mere pretense of Donkey or other prohibitionist agents.  I hope that you are working for the cops; otherwise, you are an embodiment of the belief that people who use cannabis are too stupid to stand up for themselves and the vindication of all of Donkey's insinuating lies and attacks on anyone who works against Prohibition.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@shadowmythproduction Keep on substituting your feelings for knowledge, resignation for motivation, and inertia for activism, and Prohibition will endure forever -- you are a perfect tool of the prohibitionists whether you use cannabis or not.  If you cannot understand that declaring that adults may use and grow some cannabis represents a major improvement over having all non-medical use of cannabis remain illegal, there is no point in trying to reason with you.  Please, get a clue!


P.S.  The limitations and inadequacies of Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Constitution are obvious, but it is insane to claim that the need for more change means that having taken a concrete step towards ending Prohibition was counterproductive.  You and your ilk are the prohibitionist parasites' greatest allies, because you vitiate any possibility of effective action against Prohibition.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... of course the majority support TAXING THE SHIT out of Marijuana!

The Pot Pimps bribed and lured voters with the false promises of MASSIVE TAX REVENUE ... so those voters naive enough to believe the LYING LIARS who wrote and promoted that rancid turd A64 will certainly support the tax measure ...

... and nearly ALL of those 45% who voted AGAINST A64 will support taxing Marijuana into oblivion ... out of spite if nothing else.

You = Political Analysis FAIL again!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  "Prohibition will endure forever -- you are a perfect tool of the prohibitionists whether you use cannabis or not."

@RobertChase  "I oppose the recreational use of cannabis by minors"

@RobertChase "Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all" 

@RobertChase  "I am not even a registered patient"

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  I wasn't engaging in political analysis, but the 55% who voted for Amendment 64 should be able to understand that prohibitive taxes will only perpetuate the black market.  The Amendment allowed the General Assembly to ask the voters for a 15% excise tax and earmarked revenue for school construction.  Sales of medicinal cannabis already generate substantial revenue for Denver and for Colorado, and the excise tax and standard sales taxes on general retail sales will generate much more.  The only lie in evidence is that of City functionaries and our dysfunctional City Council, who confabulate and multiply the supposed costs of regulating cannabis beyond all reason -- making pie charts or graphs of these imagined costs does not validate any of them.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Nonsense!!!  Will you next insinuate that people who sell cannabis are paranoid about getting busted?  There is a vast army of parasites in Colorado and the country as a whole whose livelihood depends upon the criminalization of innocuous personal conduct, and they are acting to preserve their evil way of life.  There is no question but that they gather intelligence on activists against Prohibition, and every reason to believe that they are actively monitoring this forum and employing you.  Barring 'shadowmythproduction' evincing way more personality and cognition than she has so far, I will hope that she is nothing more than an attempt to represent the readership as disengaged, clueless, apolitical objects ripe for your manipulation -- it sure doesn't help that so very many people (of all ages, but certainly including all too many twenty-somethings) ARE in fact disengaged, clueless, and apolitical; if I were to meet her on the street, I would retract my hypothesis.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay -- the prohibitionists don't like me, and I do not like you all either.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase "I am scrupulously truthful, and far more concerned for accuracy and exactitude ..."

@RobertChase"The DOR's regulations have not resulted in a single arrest"

@RobertChase "Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it."


You = Lying Cunt

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotayI am scrupulously truthful, and far more concerned for accuracy and exactitude than most; I am however capable of error.

P.S.  To respond to yet one more of your endlessly repeated, irrelevant insinuations, Vicks Vapor Inhaler contains methamphetamine, as anyone who consults Wikipedia or other sources can easily discover for themselves.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... why do you HABITUALLY LIE and post ABSURD FALSEHOODS online?

Do you crave public humiliation in your vainglorious attempt at self-aggrandizement?


"I wrote that Vick's VapoRub contains methamphetamine, and the statement is true."
-- Robert Chase

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  You insinuate that I have mischaracterized your motivations -- enlighten us:  why do you post obsessively about cannabis?  What changes, if any, should be made to our laws proscribing it?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... more delusional nonsense from the know-nothing dilettante poseur.


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


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Ad hominem BS!  There is only one possible explanation for your obsessive posting on this subject and your utter failure to engage advocates for licit commerce in cannabis and ending Prohibition on the basis of the facts, and that is that you are being paid to sow confusion and dissension, and to monitor this forum for any hint that more effective opposition to Prohibition (and the prohibitionist swine who derive an income from it) is forming.  Perhaps the silent majority of readers here are getting ready to surprise you and the pigs who are your paymasters.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  You must have written thousands of posts here without ever declaring your beliefs about cannabis, and you must have some motivation for doing so; how much do the pigs pay you?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

HipTip: Perpetually Spewing LIES and LEGAL FALSEHOODS will not end prohibition, it merely identifies and labels you as a LYING IGNORAMUS with zero credibility.

hth.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Right -- and since I want to end as opposed to perpetuate Prohibition, I will abandon this thread to you -- you have left many threads here littered with the evidence of your attempt to obstruct any further progress.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

"Amendment 64 would not stop unjust imprisonment for offenses related to cannabis, legalize cannabis, or regulate it like alcohol "
-- Robert Chase 


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  It really is too bad that you can't actually cite one of these supposed lies.  I am contentious, but I make reference to facts; you are argumentative, but you don't know how to argue -- is that why you stay in your bedroom?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... spews LIES and LEGAL FALSEHOODS ... whines like a little bitch when outed.

Fact = YOU LIED about the law, you got caught ... again.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  You turn this forum into the equivalent of elementary school recess:  "liar, liar, pants on fire!".  In hundreds upon hundreds of posts, you have never gone beyond insinuation and libel even once.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... whines the LYING LIAR who's been outed as a habitual legal ignoramus.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it."

Another PATHETIC LIE from lying liar Robert Chase ...

... for the Archive of Shame!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay -- yet more and more insinuation and ad hominem -- it is blindingly obvious to most readers that that is all you've got.  Make some definite assertion about the Law or crawl back under your rock.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = so pathetically WRONG on the law, so often.

Robert Chase = the Cliff Clavin of pot poseurs

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Won't you enlighten us as to what you consider to be a lie?

P.S. Erratum:  people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one may use cannabis upon the recommendation of a single doctor.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = caught COLD LYING again, pathetically attempting to divert and distract from his BLATANT LIE.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  It is illegal for people under the age of twenty-one to use alcohol.  It is illegal for people under the age of twenty-one to use cannabis (except for rare instances in which two physicians recommend its medical use).  You have insinuated that people under the age of twenty-one should be able to use cannabis on countless occasions here, but never once said so -- why is that?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase 

Those over 18 (eighteen) are NOT MINORS, they are ADULTS under the law you lying piece of shit.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  People under the age of twenty-one are considered minors for the purpose of the alcohol and cannabis laws, as you are undoubtedly already aware.  If you believe that people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one should also enjoy the right to use cannabis under the Law, how is it that you have never even once declared that that is your belief?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it."

You = Fucking LIAR

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Stop insinuating and start making definite assertions.  Article XVIII, Section 16 of Colorado's Constitution authorizes adults to grow and use cannabis; do you deny it?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ""Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it.""

Another fucking LIE from the fucking liar dilettante poseur Robert Chase.

Why do you habitually LIE so much?

Why are you so Pig-Ignorant of the Law which you pretend to know?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  -- yet more of your disingenuous crap!  You apparently hope that someone reading this will mistake you for an advocate for minors' right to use cannabis -- why?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it."

Fucking LIE from the Dilettante Know-Nothing Poseur.

A64 EXPLICITLY EXCLUDES 10s of THOUSANDS of ADULTS from any protection -- the very demographic that suffers the MOST arrests for marijuana crimes -- those under 21 years old.

You = demonstrable lying piece of shit.


RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Amendment 64 legalized every adult in Colorado growing some cannabis and their personal use of it.  Rather than some sort of unmotivated conspiracy against us, it represents what national drug policy organizations thought was the furthest the electorate would go towards dismantling Prohibition.  It is painfully obvious to me and any number of other observers that there is a long hard fight ahead, and that all the rhetoric about Colorado having legalized cannabis both ignores the reality that all felony statutes against cannabis remain in place and makes the already extremely difficult task of motivating the electorate to change the Law that much harder, but the concrete improvement represented by the constitutional sanction of our right to use cannabis can only be denied by those opposed to it or the politically clueless.  In which of those two categories do you belong?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase... many of the 56% who voted for that turd A64 were SWAYED and LURED by the promises of MASSIVE $40 MILLION dollars in "free" -- to them -- tax revenues for schools.

Those voters will SURELY support massive taxes on marijuana, add the 45% who voted against A64, and a significant portion would support EVEN HIGHER taxes on a product they neither use, nor support.

That Clueless Stoners threw themselves into the Lions' Den for a pathetic ounce is illustrative of why Pot Politics has been such an abject failure for so many years; i.e. Stoners ARE Stupid.


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