Opponents of marijuana legalization are habitually dishonest and wrong about all sorts of things, but one of their most recklessly fraudulent claims is that legal marijuana won't generate significant tax revenue. This isn't even a matter of speculation. It's already happening.
Medical-marijuana dispensaries are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into state and city treasuries in Colorado.
So far this year, the state has collected more than $2.2 million in sales tax from dispensaries. In Denver, which has more dispensaries than any other city in Colorado, the businesses have also paid more than $2.2 million this year in local sales tax. Colorado Springs has collected about $380,000 in local sales tax. [Denver Post]
And yet it remains frustratingly easy to find prohibition supporters smugly insisting that it can't be taxed because it grows on trees or because it's illegal under federal law. That is the level of discourse being brought to the table by our opposition and this is but one particularly devastating example of how plainly and profoundly false their arguments always are.
Implicit in all of this is the fact that by attempting to refute the concept of cannabis taxation, our critics have unintentionally acknowledged the significance of the issue. As is often the case in the contemporary debate over marijuana policy, the opposition's preferred talking points amount to little more than a series of desperate attempts to obscure the widely understood benefits of legalization. Lying about basic verifiable facts is a miserably unsustainable debate tactic, but this group of people isn't known for being intimidated by the truth.