Colorado: Passage Of Marijuana Legalization Measure Would Potentially Yield $60 Million In New Annual Revenue And Savings, Study Says

The passage and enactment of a statewide marijuana ballot measure this fall could generate as much as $60 million in savings and revenue, according to a just published budgetary analysis prepared by the Colorado Center on Law & Policy.

Amendment 64, The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, allows for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retail outlets.

Colorado is one of three states (joining Oregon and Washington) where voters this fall will have the opportunity to substantively reform their state’s personal use cannabis laws. Four additional states — Arkansas, Massachusetts, Montana, and North Dakota — may also be voting on medical marijuana proposals in November.

According to the CCLP report, the enactment of Amendment 64 could result in an estimated: $12 million dollars of annual savings in criminal justice costs, $24 million in excise tax revenue; $8.7 million in state sales tax revenue, $14.5 million in local tax revenue, along with the creation of several hundred new jobs.

Their analysis projects that these savings and revenue estimates may double by 2017.

According to an August survey from the firm Public Policy Polling, Coloradoans favor the measure by a margin of 47 percent to 38 percent. Independent voters strongly back the measure (58 percent to 28 percent) and so do Democrats (59 percent to 22 percent). By contrast, on 26 percent of Republican voters said they favored Amendment 64.

A separate Colorado poll by Rasmussen Reports, published in June, found that 61 percent of state voters agree philosophically that cannabis ought to be regulated like alcohol or tobacco.

Full text of the Colorado Center on Law & Policy white paper is available online here. Additional information regarding Amendment 64 and other 2012 statewide ballot initiatives is available at NORML’s ‘Smoke the Vote’ webpage here.

54 thoughts

  1. Don’t forgrt to mention, the added revenue that the state will get from vacationers who will chose Colorado over another state, so that they can smoke what they want without feeling like a criminal.

  2. So only 26% of the famously regulation-hating republicans support legalizing marijuana for adult use? ironic that the same republicans that want to minimize government interference when it comes to big business (or the sacred cow,”small” business) in are perfectly happy to allow government to interfere personal choices. I don’t ever want to hear how republicans are in support of personal freedoms. Or I guess personal freedoms only go for rich white male business owners.

  3. “By contrast, on[ly] 26 percent of Republican voters said they favored Amendment 64.”

    I don’t buy that. I know Paul is just reporting these numbers but they (Repubes) ain’t that dumb… are they?

  4. Saw a note in the paper about this Rebublican (sic) that is under the impression women’s bodies reject pregnancies in the case of rape… So yeah, they are that ignorant! Even Romney had to call this guy out on it. No one makes Rebublicans dumber than they do all on their own 🙁 Warmongers and Education Haters. The party of “duh”

  5. RepubliCANTs are good if you like archaic dark ages type shit. Fuck, I’m sure slavery sounds like a good idea to them, and like OUTSOURCING they wouldn’t pay anything for work! Thank God for the minimum wage, although it should be like $20 an hour. Republicans are also only good if you make 1.2 million a year but they’re still greedy and evil. You’re going DOWN romney! If he wasn’t running for president I’d probably run him over in my car. It’s trying to stop an evil person from ruining the USA! I deserve a medal.

  6. Anyone who votes republican or romney should be arrested for treason and put in the gas chamber. It’s a vote to ruin the United States. What? =D

  7. WoW! I may just move to Colorado if the law passes. Bet a lot of people will move or at least vacation there bringing in more income. Be interesting to see how the feds handle that situation?

  8. I’m just kidding about the car run over thing. I thought it was funny. I wasn’t serious. Maybe you’d believe me if I told you I am a banana or a mountain lion. I’d be Lion if I told you I was a lion. =D But I do think the United States should arrest and convict people who vote romney for treason. Just trying to make a point.
    I am a hyena. hahaha no, I’m a person who loves freedom.

  9. Don’t come down on small business. If it weren’t for them, our unemployment rate would be at about 70-80%. Also, who do you think would own and run the stores selling our smoke? You got it – small business, the backbone of our Nation.

  10. Uh, according to your own article above, Democrats MOST STRONGLY favor legalization–59% to 22%, and Independents come in next at 58% to 28%. In any event, it’s heartening that both groups show strong support.

    Why am I not surprised that Repubs favor prohibition by a wide margin, despite their endless rants about ending govt intrusion?

    The GOP hypocrisy notwithstanding, it’s looking pretty good for Colorado legalization so far. Hopefully, we won’t see a repeat of Calif. 2 years ago when a bunch of greedy back-stabbers killed legalization.

    Come on Colorado! Lead the way!

  11. It seems very odd that the bill in question allows for up to 6 plants to be grown but won’t allow possession of more than 1 ounce! That is a symptom of all the legalization initiatives; They all have very bothersome restrictions. I think the vast majority of Americans are for legalization buthave a problem with the bogus restrictions…

  12. The Republicans keep talking about cutting taxes yet most of them don’t support a bill that would not only save money but generate more money which could lead to lower taxes. I mean, come on, marijuana NEEDS to be legalized anyway. If this passes and everything goes well then it’ll be a great example as to what the benefits of national legalization would be like.

  13. I still dont get why people are complaining about jobs and revenue when I bet majority of the complaints are coming from republicans that there are not enough jobs in the United States! Stop being retards and vote for it! Maybe it will be able to support your family and change how the United States looks at the moment!!!

  14. “The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, allows for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those age 21 and over.” Why limits? Why can’t people just grow fields of cannabis if they wish to? Why are there so many RESTRICTIONS in this country on everything. Live, and let be.

    [Paul Armentano responds: There are limits because this measure must go before a public vote and prior polling in Colorado shows that many voters are quite skittish about allowing for possession and cultivation of cannabis without such limits.]

  15. @bud: “they (Repubes) ain’t that dumb… are they?”

    It seems that they are… Not all of them (Ron Paul being a rare exception) but most of them! Senator Akin just gave the Reps yet another well deserved black eye 🙂

  16. I once saw a Republican Senator taut his engineering degree in answering a question. Then he proceeded to demonstrate that he had no idea about the difference between a scientific theory and the lay use of the word theory. I twice saw a sitting Republican President use the bully pulpit to proclaim that the door was still open on evolution.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  17. Good Luck Colorado!
    I’m looking forward to this November.

    Many good candidates won the primaries because of Ron Paul. I hope the new Texas Senator candidate, Tom Cruz, wins. Also, when Texas Governor candidate, Debra Medina, wins the primaries in November 2014, Texas will be something good to brag about.


  18. Ooops, I’ve meant the Election of November 2014 for the new Texas Governor.

    Vote for Debra Medina for Texas Governor in 2014.

  19. don’t remember that we are living in a DEMOCRATIC party era, and that turns worst in marijuana users and dispensaries, much much worst

  20. The other states to watch will be Texas North Carolina and Iowa where State Democrats have added some measure of Marijuana reform to their state party platforms. Flip North Carolina and Iowa Blue and make some improvement in Texas and you might see more Democrats embrace or at least not opposer some MJ reform in future elections. If your voting Republican legalization may come sometime after we colonize Jupiter.

  21. @miles @Justin, I agree there shouldn’t be limits on how much you can buy or grow, but for now lets just get it legalized and work the other stuff out later. Come on Colorado lets kick that damn door open!!!

  22. i am in such a hole about this issue. i cant help but think that our government will interfear in anything concerning cannabis legalization. one man(president) cannot solve this problem. their are too many dirty mitts in the bucket of legalization. i hope im wrong but…i dont think so. big buisness stands to lose too much money folks. feds will do whatever it takes to keep it illegal…..and , to you who bitch about limits….jesus, friggen waaa…waaa…dammit people, is not, a little herb better then NONE AT ALL? that bitch…are you able to enjoy the herb now?.ill bet you are! i have been without it for going on four years now and, im a miserable son of a bitch after thirty two years of enjoyment. wait until a decent job can tell you what to consume and then BITCH about limits….have a nice day!

  23. I find it so ironic, and I think the movement would benefit from understanding and educating folks that the Substance Control Act and its War on Drugs is a direct about face, a backlash agaisnt the positive gains achieved through Civil Rights.

    The crackers just “hide” their agenda. By the way, many people seem to be under the empression that Civil Rights are just for minorities, but no, these laws are for everyone. The War on Drugs has helped continue breaking black families apart leaving kids without fathers so some cracker can make money while daed is locked up learning other bad habits. This system was designed to destroy, not protect. Now that racism is less of a goal, they just lock up everyone for profit! At the end of the day, the crackers win again while everyone else loses.

    This has to end.

  24. obviously if I had my way all recreational drugs would be legalized, but I still believe this is a milestone,Usage with no penalties or medical requirements, great.Vote to try it at least…

  25. This could be much bigger for Colorado. This would make CO one of the few places on the planet where marijuana is totally legal. Besides the retail sales and residual business from selling legal marijuana, places like CO could also lead the world in marijuana genetics and medical research. Science would start up research and labs in Colorado that can’t be opened elsewhere. Seed companies could relocate or open branches in Colorado. Being first could put Colorado way out in front in the coming legal cannabis movement and economy. Colorado could someday be for cannabis what France is for wine.

  26. I am a New Yorker, If this bill passes I may no longer hold that tile ! 😉
    I’d love to be there at ground zero on Colorado soil when it hopefully passes and makes history and re writes the future of cannabis use

  27. I’m not keen on Romney either, but there are some conservatives out there who do want to make us freer, minimize government, and who believe legalization is simply common sense. Not all of them are as bad as many seem to be these days. I do think it should be sold freely to adults and we should be free to grow it too. Like someone above said, why does anything need to be so regulated? I understand the way the process works more or less, what I would be saying is I have issues with the way the system works-with the way the process works. But who’s going to change the way the process works (or doesn’t work)? As much as I do hope for it to change, much will likely be messed up for a while. Suppose making some good steps here and there may be the only way to make good change in the long run.

  28. (My second attempt to phrase this properly)

    OK, in a nutshell: I don’t believe that the government does/should have the power to determine that we can’t possess/grow/consume any plant(ganja or tobacco or peppermint)- as long as we don’t use it to harm somebody else. But I’ll stop there, I don’t want to be on a political rant, I just think prohibition is ridiculous and takes away one of our birthrights.

  29. @Cat Cassie – I agree 100% with you! Let’s just get it legalized. My point earlier is simply that a lot of folks that very much want it legalized have major issues with the pending legislation as it’s written.

    If you can have up to 6 plants, it makes zero sense that you can’t possess more than one ounce! A single plant can produce a half pound or more. What do the writers of this pending legislation propose the growers do with the extra? Perhaps destroy it or give it away?

    Anyway, I would vote for any kind of legalization measure since I live in VA and they’ll lock you up for having half a joint on you… At least you can get as drunk as you want and smoke cigarettes non-stop if you so desire… Yeah right…

    [Paul Armentano replies: Under the proposal and similar to the existing laws in several other states, one can possess up to one ounce and/or the amount harvested from up to six plants. In other words, if you are cultivating you can possess the amount harvested. If you are not, you can possess up to one ounce.]

  30. What is so conservative about the Republicans? They don’t like homo sexual, weed, and abortions for any reason. For what reasons? The republicans and democrat political parties alike destroy the planet, ruin lives and murder people across the world in the name of God but for billions of dollars, sounds like Babylon to me. The Dems are no better. They sell out to the highest bidder too. Just look at big pharma and President Obama. They dump all their poisonous drugs on the third world market that do not meet FDA approval. These drugs are killing people. This is not right. Bad. Bad. Bad! President Obama allows this on his watch and will receive millions probably for his up coming campaign. Perfect example of who is really pulling the strings. The corporations. One exampleof drugs gone bad is Marinol is now a schedule III drug and can be prescribed for just about anything with off label prescription. Marinol = THC bad drug for many people. It is not cannabis. Cannabis is much safer and way, far more medicinal. Yet doctors are using off label prescription to prescribe Marinol to just about everyone. They are ignorant. CBD is a powerful antipsychotic that is naturally occurring in cannabis and not found in Marinol, hence, some old people in nursing homes are going on a psycho Marinol trips when they should have cannabidiol bar non. Marinol cause extreme dizziness. CBD attenuates bad side effects of THC. Big Pharma and the government have essentially taken a healing herb and turned it into a more dangerous compound. That is what they do. They also tried and are still trying CB1 blockers which is fucking crazy. This will allow people to lose weight and then commit suicide shortly after. Look at all the people that volunteer and get sick from all this nasty compound testing racket they call the FDA approval process. As a matter of fact, in the Marinol FDA approval process, big pharma managed to kill 2 people with marinol. I actually thank they may have fudged the numbers cause they don’t like the number 0. Who knows you can not trust the government or big corporations. That is why I am a libertarian and a Democrat or Republican. See libertarians don’t put up with this kind of horse shit. The corporations can buy everyone but the libertarians because our belief in the constitution and the bill of rights prevents us from being bought off. And ladies and gents this is why a libertarian can never be a president as long as the big corporations are funding the presidential elections and controlling the brain washing media that programs the cattle like brains of this nation.

  31. When alcohol was illegal, the states quit enforcing federal law, which in turn let to the repeal of prohibition. The more states that get on board legalization, the sooner the federal laws against marijuana will go away.

  32. This is good. Better than PA. I wish we could have a million man march on Washington but I can’t say I’d have the money or time to show up even though I live in Pennsylvania close to Baltimore. I also wish more people would openly talk about pot in a good way or even start arguments about it. It would take someone with nuts, though, as we have freedom of speech but would probably be targeted by DEA to satisfy their own egos and keep their evil jobs. We have the majority. If we started riots in every town, they couldn’t contain us. They’d probably murder people for that, too, though. This is what happened in England 240 years ago but they had to start a new country just to pray/not pray to any God they wanted. The hippie movement of love and peace WILL NOT lose. That’s what happens when good things happen. Pieces of shit who are evil like manson try to ruin/destroy it but they WILL NOT succeed if we don’t let them. Their biggest weapon is fear and who doesn’t fear dea or the government? We’re spending 500+ billion a year on military to protect us just so we can “fall in line” and do things the way they think we ought to. But their way does’nt work. Life sucks unless you look as good as kim kardashian and are rich. She does’nt feel that good or she would’nt do evil things to others. She’s just a sociopath. So if you don’t have any gifts, alcohol and tobacco DON’T cut it. We want to FEEL rich and good and pot is the best drug for that. God invented Marijuana and it wasn’t for us to destroy or never use. Fuck this current system. Down with greed.

  33. I have been looking into even further savings that most have not considered. Those savings come from Medicaid and Medicare (along with any further state programs.)

    If individuals are able to consume cannabis in a manner that will allow them to return to work, then we are talking a substantial increase in savings.

    I have figured (with outdated data) that if 16% of the US on Medicare would be able to return to work after consuming cannabis, or at least would be able to work for 1 additional year, our federal government would save an extra $50,000,000,000 per year. This of course does not include any taxes they would create by staying in the workforce. If you add these figures to Medicaid numbers, it becomes astronomical.

    Cannabis as a medicine will help stop the government from paying for expensive pharmaceutical plans, and will allow this country to spend the money on health care where it is truly needed.

  34. Ryan, see how once you start down the wrong path, the costs of that bad decision just keep adding up and adding up? The repbubs talk about lowing taxes by lower spending, but only want to lower spending on education and health care and the environment. They want to increase spending on law enforcement and military, continue harassing marijuana users.

    The easiet way to fix the economy, which now these clowns say has been fixed for four years now (Believe that shit, do you???), is by stopping prohibition of marijuana. Yet all these clowns can manage to talk about is how little they should allow…

  35. I would be thrilled to death to be able to have legislation like CO’s Amendment 64 here in VA! The thought of being able to grow and harvest up to 6 plants legally seems incredible to me after living in fear of law enforcement for the last 40 years. Clearly, I need to leave VA… as soon as I can afford it…

  36. I escaped the police state of New Jersey, where MS patients are sent to prison for 5 years for growing plants, and now have a permit in Colorado. My pain is gone and I can walk again. Maybe it’s just psychological, but it’s still gone.

    One of the best things about Colorado is that I am no longer suspicious of the motives of police. In NJ, police cars on almost every corner and you constantly see police ransacking cars, hoping to find something. Asset forfeiture is a big money maker there.

    I rarely see any police in Denver and they sure aren’t ransacking cars looking for a joint so they can give a $100 fine.

    The NJ anti-pot frenzy can be seen in this huge recent story, Google “Pompton Lakes car destroyed by police”.

    Hey, Gov. Christie, you know that state income tax revenue shortfall? It just got bigger.

  37. I too am really in the Libertarian/Laisez Faire(sp) camp. If you don’t know what to get me for my birthday, just fix it so that other parties actually have a chance to place a good Prez in the office. It can be tricky these days to figure out which combo meal to pick off of the menu when both contain poison(politically speaking of course). I think if we can’t partake in our vice/medicine of choice (again, even if it is the more dangerous alcohol or tobacco), there’s really something wrong with this whole machine.

  38. I’m wondering how a record of having owned marijuana is somehow bad… It’s like a badge of honor in the face of stupidity.

    How does having a non “criminal-record” stop folks from getting a job? I mean your there at your interview and the fellow interviewing you smokes weed at home, but then says he isn’t going to hire you since the police told him you smoke pot. Why would anyone give it a second thought? How does having a record for weed stop people from being hired? It is just more ignorant crap from the government I suppose…

    Employers, stop turning people away from jobs, it isn’t like the government is going to stop sucking anytime soon, just ignore them when they stop making sense.

  39. For example, I continue to hear stories of child rapists getting jobs where they get to work with children. Why is the government seemingly more concerned with making sure your child is not “exposed” to marijuana, and less concerned with “exposing” your child to a rapist??? “Exposing” a child to marijuana has no negative effects, it is just another plant out of thousands they should know about. Rape or even just being around weirdos that look at children as sex objects is doing to do harm. Where are the priorities in our policy? If the policy is shitty, stop enforcement, then get rid of it.

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