Lawmaker: It's High Time We Taxed Pot

Marijuana legalization could help the struggling state financially

Thursday, Jul 16, 2009  |  Updated 10:38 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Lawmaker: It's High Time We Taxed Pot

David Sutherland

California tax officials estimate marijuana legalization would bring in nearly $1.4 billion.

How's this for a California budget boost -- tax pot.

The State Board of Equalization estimates taxing and regulating marijuana sales like alcohol would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue for the financially struggling state.

Marijuana retail sales would bring an estimated $990 million from a $50-per-ounce fee and $392 million in sales taxes.

A bill introduced by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano would allow adults 21 and older to legally possess, grow and sell marijuana.

Ammiano is promoting the bill as a way to help bridge the state's $26 billion-plus budget shortfall. The assemblyman says it's unreasonable to close parks and eliminate vital services for the poor "while this potential revenue is available."

The way the bill is written, the state could not begin collecting taxes until the federal government legalizes marijuana. A spokesman says Ammiano plans to amend the bill to remove that provision.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out