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November 5th Colorado voters have another opportunity to change the way pot is sold in their states. Specifically, they have the chance to vote on the sales taxes that could be applied to retail sales of marijuana.  Here is a guide to Colorado Prop AA

Colorado Proposition AA

Quick guide to Colorado Prop AA – Vote Nov 5, 2013

What is Colorado Proposition AA?

Colorado Proposition would impose two different taxes on the retail sale of recreational marijuana. The first would be a 15 percent excise tax, the revenue of which would go towards the construction of new schools in the state. The second would be a 10 percent sales tax that would be imposed in addition to the 2.9 percent state sales tax and any local sales taxes that may apply. The revenue generated from this tax would go towards funding a state bureaucracy dedicated to regulating the marijuana retail business.

It should be noted that these taxes will only apply to recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana would be unaffected by this proposition.

Arguments

Supporters of Proposition AA have stated that although the proposed taxes seem high, they would bring some much-needed revenue to the state of Colorado. This revenue would be used to not only fund a bureaucracy that would regulate the recreational marijuana business, but it would help fund the construction of several new schools. Experts state that the sales of marijuana will generate $50 to $60 million for the state. Supporters also believe that these taxes will in effect be no different from other “sin taxes” on things such as alcohol and tobacco, and that the convenience of being able to buy marijuana legally will trump having to pay steep taxes.

Opponents of Proposition AA believe that the 25 percent tax hike is too high, and that it will only push consumers to the black market where there is no regulation on the quality of marijuana that is sold. They also believe that the increased taxes are unnecessary, and that the state of Colorado will have plenty of funds available to effectively regulate the marijuana business.

Of course, there is no right or wrong way to vote on an issue such as this. Proposition AA would create some very clear benefits for the state of Colorado, but it could also create some serious problems if people are pushed to the black market by high taxes. As always, it’s best to arm yourself with all the necessary facts before you step into a voting booth on November 5.

By Neil Charles