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Reader: More Marijuana Taxes Will Just Push the Black Market

Reader: More Marijuana Taxes Will Just Push the Black Market
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Recreational marijuana sales had another record year in 2020, so it's not surprising that cash-strapped causes are looking at cannabis taxes as a way to raise revenues. Now a new ballot initiative proposed by a group of state legislators and public-education support groups calls for adding another 5 percent tax on marijuana sales to fund a learning-enrichment program that would provide tutoring and after-school education services for Colorado children.

Supporters of the proposed Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress (LEAP) program want to see lower- and middle-income parents of Colorado school-aged kids to receive an annual stipend of around $1,500 per child for out-of-school learning services, including after-school programs, individual tutoring and specialized after-school learning classes. In its first year, an estimated $90 million of the proposed $150 million program would come from marijuana sales.

And in their comments on the Westword Facebook post of our story about LEAP, consumers make it clear they're not buying this proposal. Says Nathan:

Always tax, never budget.

Responds David:

They can’t spend the billions they’ve made on weed correctly already. Don’t give these bureaucrats any more money to pocket. This state should be covered in diamonds, with how much money marijuana taxes has brought in. But we're just seeing politicians getting fatter pockets.

Wonders Josh:

But wait, wasn't most of the initial tax for education anyway? Unless.....

Replies Ronaldo: 

If you read Amendment 64, it clearly states it is for school buildings and building improvements. That way they couldn't use it for higher salaries.

Warns Nicholas:

You’ll lose this revenue to the black market if you continue to abuse the free market.

Adds Wolffe: 

As if the taxes aren't high enough, fuck off. A lot of us are depending on marijuana for our health (regardless of if we have an MMJ card or not) and can't afford to pay more for our medicine.

Concludes Ronaldo:

We should tax alcohol like weed. But too many elected officials drink, so that won't happen.

What do you think of the current rate of marijuana taxes? Would you vote for this proposal? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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