The California State Board of Equalization released a legislative analysis today estimating that the state would collect up to $1.38 billion in new revenue from taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana.
The report is based on Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s (D-San Francisco) groundbreaking legislation, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education act (AB 390) that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
The bill would create a regulatory structure similar to that already in place for beer, wine and liquor, permitting taxed sales to adults while barring sales to or possession by those under 21.
“We can no longer afford to keep our heads in the sand when it comes to marijuana. The move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is long overdue and simply common sense. The benefits of regulation are clear - controlling marijuana would generate up to $1.3 billion in much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes”, said Ammiano.
“It defies reason to propose closing parks and eliminating vital services for the poor while this potential revenue is available. California has an historic opportunity to be the first state in the nation to enact a smart, responsible public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana.”
“The Board of Equalization has confirmed that marijuana already plays a huge role in the California economy, but unfortunately it’s underground and totally out of the state’s control,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
“Assemblymember Ammiano is right to propose harnessing that market and allowing the state to redirect scarce criminal justice resources to matters of greater public safety. It’s time to rethink our unenforceable pot laws and take the marijuana market back from the cartels and regulate it effectively.”
“With the state issuing IOUs and getting ready to make massive cuts to schools and other vital services, it is simply unconscionable that California is literally turning away well over a billion dollars in revenue from marijuana consumers who want to pay taxes on their purchases. Not only could that money pay the salaries of 20,000 teachers, regulating marijuana would give us far better control over the most widely used illicit drug and take a big bite out of the profits of criminal gangs” said Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
July 15, 2009
San Francisco Sentinel
California: $1.38 Billion In Revenue By Taxing and Regulating Marijuana says Report