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Legal Marijuana In Arizona Would Generate Over $60 Million In Taxes Annually, Study Predicts

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, September, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder

Arizona stands to generate more than $60 million in marijuana tax revenue annually, if voters decide to legalize and regulate the plant for adult recreational purposes in 2016. 

That's according to an independent analysis released Monday by Arizona's nonprofit Grand Canyon Institute. It found the state would rake in about $64 million per year from legal marijuana taxes, including $51 million that would go to K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs in the state. That's significantly more than the $40 million in tax revenue for education backers of the ballot initiative projected last month -- a sum thatopponents of the measure lambasted as unrealistically high and a local newspaper characterized as "a lie" in an August op-ed.

But at least according to the GCI, a research organization focusing on Arizona's fiscal and tax issues -- one that describes itself as "a centrist think-thank led by a bipartisan group of former state lawmakers, economists, community leaders, and academicians" -- the advocates were being conservative in their estimates.

Read More:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arizona-taxes-legal-marijuana_55e732f8e4b0c818f61a21a4


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Florida Could Decide on Recreational Marijuana in 2016

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 1st 2015 by THCFinder

While the Florida state legislature continues to talk in circles around the issue of pot reform, a legion of cannabis activists have come forward with a ballot initiative aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016.  Regulate Florida, an organization seeking to repeal prohibition in the Sunshine State, received word last week from state election officials that their master plan to put the issue of legal weed on the ballot in the next presidential election had been approved. 

This is big news for Florida voters who were already planning to head, full throttle, into the polls next year to cast a favorable ballot for United for Care’s proposal to establish a statewide medical marijuana program. Ultimately, as long as the forces behind Regulate Florida manage to collect the necessary 683,149 verified signatures, the voting population could likely be in a position to decide on whether they would prefer to legalize cannabis solely for medicinal purposes or go for broke, unleashing the herb altogether, by supporting a regulatory model that would allow cannabis to be sold in a manner similar to beer. 

Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer and longtime cannabis advocate Michael Minardi penned the proposal, aptly deemed the “Florida Cannabis Act,” in war dance against the state legislature, which has proved sufficiently inadequate at launching even the simplest CBD-only market, not to mention their complete disregard in 2015 for even considering the reform of marijuana laws.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/florida-could-decide-recreational-marijuana-2016


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Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative Could Raise $40+ Million For Education

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

regulate marijuana like alcohol arizona 2016Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol estimate the measure would raise more than $40 million annually for education in Arizona. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol highlighted the potential revenue Wednesday by presenting the state with a jumbo-sized check during a “back-to-school” news conference in front of the state capitol.

“Our schools are in serious need of funding, and taxing marijuana would create a significant new revenue stream,” said State Sen. Martin Quezada, a member of the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board who spoke at the news conference. “Marijuana sales are going to keep taking place regardless of whether this initiative passes or fails. But only if it passes will they raise tens of millions of dollars each year for public education in Arizona.”

The proposed initiative would enact a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales from licensed retail stores to adults 21 years of age and older, which would be used to fund the implementation and enforcement of regulations. Of any additional tax revenue collected, 40% would be allocated to the Department of Education for school construction, maintenance, and operating costs, and 40% would be allocated to the Department of Education for full-day kindergarten programs.

“Generating revenue for our schools isn’t the only reason to pass this initiative, but it’s an important one,” said Lisa Olson, a Mesa teacher who participated in the news conference. “I support it because it will not only improve public education, but also public safety. Regulating marijuana would replace dealers on the streets with store clerks who ask for ID and only sell to adults.”

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/arizona-marijuana-legalization-initiative-could-raise-40-million-for-education/


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The next 11 states to legalize marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, August, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

Marijuana prohibition is entering its 78th year. Colorado's marijuana law went into effect at the beginning of last year in the wake of changing attitudes. Compared to 1969, when only 12% supported legalizing pot, today a majority of Americans support legalizing recreational use of the drug.

It is legal to purchase marijuana in four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — as well as in the District of Columbia. Prior to the legalization, all of these states had already reduced the penalties for possession and use of small amounts of the drug or introduced policies permitting medical marijuana use. To identify the states most likely to legalize marijuana next, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 11 states where by law residents in possession of small amounts of the drug are not punishable by jail time, and medical marijuana use is permitted.

A large share of U.S. states, including all 11 on this list, have decriminalized marijuana at some point. The widely-referenced, but confusing term actually means a different thing depending on where it is being used. Not to be confused with legalization, states that have decriminalized marijuana have in some way reduced the penalties for for those caught with the substance. In most cases, this means the state will no longer prosecute or jail those caught with small amounts of the drug for personal use. In some cases, getting caught with a few grams of marijuana is as serious as a traffic infraction.

Other states that have decriminalized, however, still have relatively harsh penalties for possession. In Nevada, for example, the state no longer can assign jail time for those caught with a small amount of the drug, but violators can still be arrested, fined heavily, and charged with a misdemeanor.

Read More:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/08/18/24-7-wall-st-marijuana/31834875/


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Legalizing Marijuana In California Could Increase State Pot Prices

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, August, 17th 2015 by THCFinder

California already collects millions of dollars in sales tax revenue from the medical marijuana industry, but one California legislator thinks it might be time for another tax, and that means higher pot prices.

 

State Senator George Runner, a Republican and vice-chair of the state’s Board of Equalization, thinks marijuana users should have to pay for the damages caused by the pot industry.

“As a matter of taxpayer equity, the medical marijuana industry and its end users, rather than ordinary California taxpayers, should pay the costs of combatting marijuana-related crimes and other externalities.”

A recent visit to Northern California’s “Emerald Triangle” convinced Runner the state needed to find a way to pay for all the problems caused by the marijuana industry.

The “Emerald Triangle” consists of three counties: Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity; and accounts for 60 percent of the country’s marijuana.

The problem is all that marijuana growth brings additional problems like added crime and environmental damage, and Runner doesn’t think ordinary Californian’s should have to foot the bill.


Read More:http://www.inquisitr.com/2341881/legalizing-marijuana-in-california-could-increase-state-pot-prices/#v187iFG6B9LajC1k.99


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Ohio Is Likely To Vote On Marijuana Legalization This November

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, August, 12th 2015 by THCFinder

Responsible Ohio LogoAccording to multiple reports out of Ohio, the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization initiative is going to make the ballot in 2015. ResponsibleOhio fell short of the required signatures by the original deadline, but Ohio law permits a 10 extension for one last push. Responsible Ohio needed 29,509 valid signatures in order to make the ballot, and turned in 95,572 at the end of ten day period. In most cases it would have just been assumed that the signature amount would have been enough, but due to a record low signature validation rate for marijuana legalization signature gathering efforts, no one was certain. The campaign needed a roughly 31% validation rate, and appears to have made that goal. Per WBNS-10TV:

The legalization of marijuana will be on the November ballot, according to preliminary reports of valid signatures sent by Ohio’s county board of election offices.

With 48 counties out of 88 reporting their preliminary totals, a 10TV survey reveals ResponsibleOhio will exceed the number of required signatures.

The initiative will not be officially on the ballot until Ohio’s Secretary of State says so, which is expected by the end of the week. If that proves to be the case, Ohio will get a chance to be the fifth state (and D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana. As with every other marijuana legalization initiative that has ever made the ballot (assuming it does, which I think is safe to say at this point), ResponsibleOhio’s initiative is not without it’s controversy. I’m sure most readers know by now about the ‘ten for profit entities only’ provision of the initiative, which obviously stinks. But is that enough to allow people to be arrested for two more years until maybe, hopefully another initiative gets polling, language, and funding in place?

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/ohio-is-likely-to-vote-on-marijuana-legalization-this-november/


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