Politics

What Should Be the Sales Tax on Marijuana?

November 1, 2013

A pro-pot jingle in Colorado last year went like this: "Jobs for our people/Money for schools/Who could ask for more?" Nearly a year after Colorado legalized recreational weed, voters get the chance to decide exactly how much more — in taxes.

On Tuesday, voters decide whether to approve a 15% pot excise tax to pay for school construction, plus an extra sales tax of 10% to fund marijuana enforcement.

Some pot activists are campaigning against the taxes, arguing that marijuana should be taxed like beer, which has a tax rate of 8 cents a gallon. They've handed out free joints at tax protests.

"Our alcohol system is regulated just fine with the taxes they have, so we don't see any need for this huge grab for cash from marijuana," said Miguel Lopez, volunteer coordinator for the small opposition campaign to Colorado's pot tax measure.

While polls suggest the tax is going to pass — even in this state where voters frequently reject new taxes — it is very much an open question how much the state is going to reap.

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