Five myths about marijuana legalization debunked by Colorado’s experience

DENVER — Here are five myths about marijuana legalization that Colorado officials and businesses say have been debunked in the state, where recreational pot was first legalized in 2012:1. It’s a tax windfall.Marijuana sales surpassed US$1.3 billion in Colorado in 2016, but that’s only a fraction of the state’s $333 billion GDP, said Ashley Kilroy, Denver’s executive director of excise and licences, which oversees marijuana policy.In 2016, the state collected $199 million in tax and fee revenue, of which $40 million was earmarked for school construction projects and $5.7 million was designated generally for public schools. Colorado’s overall budget is $26.8 billion this year.The city of Denver also collects its own special 3.5 per cent tax on marijuana. But marijuana only accounts for 2.5 per cent of the city’s general fund revenue and all of it currently goes towards regulation and enforcement of legal cannabis.”It’s nice to have but there have been a lot of costs associated with regulating it,” said Kilroy.

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