Denver, CO: The passage and enactment of a statewide marijuana ballot measure this fall could generate as much as $60 million in annual savings and revenue, according to a 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.
According to the analysis, enacting 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.
Authors speculate that these savings and revenue projections could 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 backed the measure (58 percent to 28 percent) and so did Democrats (59 percent to 22 percent). By contrast, on 26 percent of Republican voters said they favored Amendment 64.
For more information, please visit: http://www.regulatemarijuana.org. Full text of the Colorado Center on Law & Policy white paper is available online at: http://www.cclponline.org/postfiles/amendment_64_analysis_final.pdf. Additional information regarding this and other 2012 statewide ballot initiatives is available at: http://norml.org/about/smoke-the-vote.