New Report Documents Fiscal Impact of Amendment 64, the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Press Release August 15, 2012
Media Contact

<p>
Contact: Terry Scanlon, CFPI, 303-573-5669, extension&nbsp; 311<br />
Art Way, 720 288-6924</p>

Denver—A new report released today by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), documents that Amendment 64, the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, would provide the state savings and tax revenue of nearly $60 million in its first year.  According to the report, the state is conservatively projected to save and earn up to $120 million annually after 2017.

Amendment 64 proposes a system to regulate and tax marijuana in Colorado similarly to alcohol. In addition to state and local sales taxes, the initiative directs the General Assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on wholesale sales of non-medical marijuana. This limit can be increased after 2017. The general state and local coffers will receive all but the first $40 million generated from the excise tax, as those specific funds are earmarked for a public school construction fund.

“Amendment 64, based on these estimates, would generate $24 million in state revenue for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program,” says Christopher Stiffler, Economist, Colorado Center on Law and Policy. “Leveraged with local dollars, that investment could mean over 350 new jobs, the majority of which will be in the construction industry.”

“This significant report highlights the burdensome cost of maintaining marijuana prohibition in Colorado and the new revenue that could be generated for school construction and other critical services,” says Art Way, Senior Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance. “In addition to keeping countless marijuana possession offenders out of the criminal justice system, Amendment 64, as demonstrated in this report, allows the voters to support fiscal prudence, robust regulation and sensible reform.”

"This report confirms that by regulating marijuana like alcohol we can generate significant new revenue and savings for our state and localities, and create much-needed jobs," said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting Amendment 64. "Not only will Amendment 64 result in immediate savings; it will quickly grow into a major revenue stream for Colorado."

Key findings of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute report. Amendment 64 will generate:

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