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Colorado Collects Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue

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.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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benefits of ligalizeing canabis

Our state need to make money some way i think legalizing it well benefit every body.

we can fight for it i have a sleep disorder and need medical cannabis to go to sleep.

I was drinking 6 50mg of benidril to go to sleep i was waking up tired so i got some cannabis and i wake up with more energy i sleep like a baby all nite plz support legalize cannabis


You are a drug addict, you require bendryl or MJ to sleep.  If you stop abusing/taking drugs, you will develop fine sleeping habits.  I know, I have been there.

How do you know? are you a

How do you know? are you a doctor? do you have the same sleeping disorder?

you don't know jack, you are just mouthing off because someone is treating (or from your point of view, attempting to treat) their disorder(s) with a mind altering substance which fits your definition of a drug addict. have you considered the fact that he/she just MIGHT have already tried going to sleep with no drugs in his/her system and found that cannibis/benadryl provides relief as opposed to doing nothing?

next time, don't assume you know everything just because "you've been there", you have no clue what this person has experienced. it is different for everyone. plus, it is none of your concern.. if he/she isn't harming his/her mind and body, then there is nothing wrong. period.

Is your grandmother addicted

Is your grandmother addicted to blood pressure medication? Will that hypertension just go away? What about your brother's allergy meds? Care to give any more unqualified medical advice to strangers you haven't examined? If you have a canned solution for solving sleep problems you MUST share it with the world. You'll make a fortune.


I don't want to show any lack of sympathy for your drug problems. You have your own experience, but this doesn't help anyone explain or predict reality unless it has been studied and aggregated. You may have tried mj. You may have become depressed. You may have had a lot more mj. Perhaps you later tried meth. I don't know your chronology, but I do know that knowing it would not be enough to determine cause and effect, especially the cause and effect of a different person.


Please go study some more. If you still want to hand out advice, consider a forum where people are asking for help. If you find a faith-based forum, such as Narcanon or AA, you don't even need to study before giving advice.

i hope you are replying to

i hope you are replying to the guy above me...


You're one of those dirty liars that is committing crime and even killing PEOPLE! STOP it! Pay UR TAXES-STOP committing murder, theft and propaganda sales! Or u r gonna face a judgment that comes quicker than u THINK!

marijuana plant

I tried everything too---went one solid year without sleeping and started twitching uncontrollably. Nothing worked for sleep but seroquel which can cause death and makes you very tired and drugged all the time---and sometimes very depressed. Totally fasting on nothing but juice and vegetables and organic chicken and fish----no bread, carbs, caffiene, alcohol, soda, chips, sugar f any kind worked okay unless there was ANY chnage in my routine like going out of town, having company, getting upset or having a particularly busy day.

Like the other person said. Marijuana is a great sleep aide ( and anti siezure med) and you wake up feeling great ( not drugged or hung over). you obviously do not know the benefits of marijuana.

That is the typical

That is the typical faith-based, judgment-oriented, confrontational analysis (that comes from the right-wing) of anyone who uses marijuana. Are there a lot of potheads out there abusing the current dispensaries of medical marijuana to use it recreationally? Sure! Do those potheads completely invalidate all the scientific research (of real-life, quantifiable benefits) which presents evidence favorable to the case of medical marijuana? Of course not!


The strung-out methhead on another binge is an abuser. The guy who snorted coke a few times at a few parties...not so much. The heroin-junkie stealing to get his fix and the casual pot-smoker buying government-regulated, taxable weed are not comparable. You sir, are a f***ing moron. All drug users are not addicts. Drug use itself is not inherently is the abuse of drugs that harms. Learn the difference before you run your undereducated mouth.

Boy is correct

Only thing is, he left out drunks.  Whether a weekend drunk on a bender, or a daily drunk, alcoholics are just addicts by another name.  Yes addicts abuse drugs, alcohol is a drug, and alcohol addicts abuse the drug alcohol.  In fact, if you look at the statistics, more people abuse the drug alcohol than all other drugs combined. 


Legalizing drugs would give us a new tax base that could cure our economic ill's, It would also end the barbaric practice of incarcerating our non-violent citizens. It would put a real damper on the corruption that exists in our Law enforcement divisions , the practice  of putting young men in a setting where they don't make a living and surrounding them with people in prison and access to drugs and more money than they make in a year for a delivery is just EVIL. 

For Good?

I didn't understand whether it is for good or not? Need to scrutinize these statistics and found out whether it will make good in all aspects or not? If they are getting all these tax from the drug which needs to be banned!!

hkochii's picture

System of taxation is already in place

By moving the vodka to the side a bit and making room for it on the shelf the system for taxation of cannabis is already in place. As for loss of tax revenue because so many people will grow their own; It isn't as easy as it sounds to grow high quality cannabis. It's just like alcohol. It's legal to make your own, and avoid the taxes related to purchasing it in a state store, but how many people prefer the convenience of just buying a bottle when they want it and paying the associated taxes? Commercially available pot will be exactly the same. A few select individuals will want to try their hand at growing their own but the vast majority of consumers will op out for the pre-packaged stuff.

if it were easy everyone would be doing it

Love the logical fallacy that people would dodge taxes by growing their own. (similar to the idiocy being spouted that meth is a bathtub drug any hillbilly can make-just look at the actual recipe, found in many places on the internet)

Tobacco isn't hard to grow, how many smokers have a tobacco patch in their backyard? For that matter, what about lettuce? strawberries? even apples? Given their twisted "say anything that supports our position, forget common sense" argument, you'd think the nation's hundreds of billions of dollars per year agriculture industry wouldn't even exist because we'd all be saving a buck growing it ourselves.

No, most folks don't have the time nor the desire to put enough work into it to attempt an end result nearly the caliber of what's already being mass produced. But then most of us know that and we can only dream those stupid enough to form that argument will stumble in here and see the light.

Cannabis in Colorado

Colorado's medical cannabis industry has been a huge reason why our state has not suffered many of the economic problems of the rest of the country.  Closed businesses have been turned into dispensaries and because of the requirements for security and registrations many have found work in this industry.  Also, our laws require that suppliers grow a large percentage of their own product, thereby removing illegal and murderous drug cartels from the equation.  To quote my husband who lived in Honduras for six years, "The day America ends its war on drugs is the day that the cartels become powerless."  None of this is to say that people should not be aware of their own disposition towards addiction of any kind, whether it be drugs, cigarettes, alcohol or fatty foods.  All of those legal substitutes kill hundreds of thousands of people annually and there is no prohibition on them, as it was shown to fail and prop up a black market.  

Why the system don't want it legal

I'm 57 yrs old an have supported the legalazation for years. I have met more polititions then you ever think that smoke pot." Governors assistants, county prosescuting attorneys," And quote! We won't legalize it because it cuts into our pocket. They were the biggest suppliers I've known. I now work for the fed government myself and have no chose to not smoke as because of drug testing. Believe me the day I retire I'll find someone to give me a big ole toke. As I know it won't put me face down in a rice paddy like alcohol has done in Asia. And for the last 10 years I've worked for the feds, I've suffered with the pain of an injured back and surgery that MJ had relieved for years and never had the side effects that the drugs the doctor prescribed. Wake up congress. GOD made POT. Man made drugs like asprin to relieve the affect of man made alcohol. Stop the money hungry politiltions/Stop the war on pot.

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