Friday, November 26, 2010
Colorado Collects Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue
is that legal marijuana won't generate significant tax revenue. This isn't even a matter of speculation. It's already happening.
Medical-marijuana dispensaries are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into state and city treasuries in Colorado.
So far this year, the state has collected more than $2.2 million in sales tax from dispensaries. In Denver, which has more dispensaries than any other city in Colorado,
the businesses have also paid more than $2.2 million this year in local sales tax. Colorado Springs has collected about $380,000 in local sales tax
The question of "legalizing marijuana" refers to whether or not Americans should be allowed to legally grow, sell, buy or ingest marijuana.
At present, the U.S. government claims the right to, and does, criminalize the growing, selling and possession of marijuana in all states. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this federal right in two separate court cases:
•In 2001, U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which overturned California proposition 215 which, in 1996, legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
•In 2005, Gonzales v. Raich, which again upheld the right of the federal government to ban marijuana use in all states.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants, leafy annual plants with parts that are used for as herbs, animal food, medicine and as hemp for rope-making.
"The flowers... contain psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes,"
Why is Marijuana Banned in the U.S.?
Before the 20th century, cannabis plants in the U.S. were relatively unregulated, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medicines.
Recreational use of marijuana was thought to have been introduced in the U.S. early in the 20th century by immigrants from Mexico. In the 1930s, marijuana was linked publicly in several research studies, and via a famed 1936 film named "Reefer Madness," to crime, violence, and anti-social behavior.
Many believe that objections to marijuana first rose sharply as part of the U.S. temperence movement against alcohol. Others claim that marijuana was initially demonized partly due to fears of the Mexican immigrants associated with the drug.
In the 21st century, marijuana is illegal in the U.S. ostensibly due to moral and public health reasons, and because of continuing concern over violence and crime associated with production and distribution of the drug.