Last year, Colorado’s liberal Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper signed several bills into law that allow for the growing and selling of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Many people may believe that this is just part of the same liberal agenda that legalizes same-sex marriages and strips law-abiding gun owners of their firearms, but I believe the underlying reason for the legalization of marijuana is greed.
To begin with, Colorado was collecting license fees and a 2.9% sales tax on medical marijuana that was legalized in the state in 2000. Now the state stands to collect a lot more revenue on the recreational use of pot by placing a 2.9% sales tax, 10% special sales tax and a 15% excise tax on sales of recreational marijuana. In other words, Colorado collects $27.90 for every $100 of recreational marijuana sold in the state.
The new laws went into effect on January 1 of this year and in the first month Colorado took in a combined $3.5 million in taxes and fees on recreational and medical marijuana. While a number of state agencies may be licking their lips at the additional pot revenue, the new law stipulated that the first $40 million collected from the excise tax had to be used for the construction of schools.
It also seems that they are going to have to start using some of the other pot tax revenue to run their anti-driving while high campaign. Last September when only the medicinal use of Marijuana was legal, a survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation revealed that 21% of those polled admitted to driving after consuming marijuana in some form.
So the state is spending over $1 million on an ad campaign called ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’. Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol released a statement saying:
“As Coloradans now have more access to marijuana, we want them to be aware that law enforcement is trained to identify impairment by all categories of drugs and alcohol.”
They have prepared a number of 30 second ads one of which is:
I’m very curious to see the effects of recreational pot use on the number of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities.