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Colorado is making so much money from weed tax it may have to give some back

Legalisation has gone 'too well' and state may have to give some money back to taxpayers

  • Ross Gardiner
  • 3 February 2015

While the American government trepidly wanders into a new era of progressive drug reform, the signs couldn't be clearer that they ought to ramp up their efforts to decriminalise marijuana. The state of Colorado recently disclosed that it had taken so much money in taxes from cannabis legalisation that it could be forced to give some back.

State legislation insists that there is a tax limitation in place that requires some of the money taken to be returned to residents should it be met. And since over $50m has been generated though the sale of legal cannabis, Colorado residents could find themselves getting a tasty little rebate.

While it's written into law that the money should be fed back to the residents, Republicans and Democrats agree that you shouldn't hold your breath on that happening.

"I think it's appropriate that we keep the money for marijuana that the voters said that we should," noted Republican Senate President Bill Cadman.

It has been noted that the excess cash will likely be put into drug education and training the police to spot telltale signs of stoned drivers, allowing the entire experiment to effectively fund itself.

The state has so far seen a significant rise in tourism and a drop in crime, and contrary to the Republican claims that the streets would be strewn with unemployed, cannabinoid-sludged zombies, police in Denver recently reported that there "hasn't been much change of anything."

"Basically, officers aren't seeing much of a change in how they do police work," one Denver police officer told CBC.

So there you go. As predicted by many drug experts and economists, the procedure has been a huge success fiscally and socially, and has gone some way to reduce the influence of organised crime in Colorado. With some positive wind in the sails of the US government we can only hope that in the future some effective measures will be taken to protect young festival goers and clubbers from the dangers of recreationally taking dangerous, untested chemicals.

[via: The Independent]