The case is building for the legalisation of cannabis.
Of course, once things are legal you can tax them, and as NZ has a dwindling supply of readily addicted tobacco users to pay wads of tax they should look at the potential for revenue from a cannabis tax.
Is marijuana the new sin-tax gusher for the states? It sure looks that way.
In November, voters in five US states will decide on whether to allow recreational use of the drug, while citizens in four other states have the option of legalising medical marijuana.
Unlike the fierce battles of the past over decriminalisation, resistance by governors, law-enforcement groups and state medical associations is down (though not entirely gone). The ability to collect mountains of new taxes could be a reason, judging from the experience of Colorado, where voters approved medical marijuana in 2000 and legalised its recreational use in 2012.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, Colorado collected $157 million in marijuana taxes, licenses and fees, up 53 percent from a year earlier and almost four times what it has collected in alcohol excise taxes this year. Thanks to marijuana smokers, Colorado’s public schools will receive $42 million, and local governments will get $10 million of the amount collected. Read more »