[Vision2020] Where would $1 billion in pot money go if California marijuana is legalized?

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Sep 20 21:22:58 PDT 2016

The question posed in this thread asked where one billion dollars in
revenue might be spent as a result of taxing cannabis in California.

To declare one billion dollars as a sum of money that would "rarely amount
to much in the overall scheme of things."
seems dismissive of the good that might be done with this large sum, even
if it is 0.6 percent of the California state budget.

The article posted to start this thread on the subject of California's
Prop. 64 reveals where much of the tax revenue could or might be spent,
especially "60 percent to prevent young people from abusing substances by
offering grants to schools and county health programs, funding treatment
programs, helping at-risk youth and more. Estimated at $450 million or more
a year."

However, the article, unless I missed it, did not discuss the possible
savings from fewer criminal prosecutions involving cannabis, and the
possibility law enforcement and prisons could stand to *lose revenue from
more legalized cannabis.  *

*Those who are not jailed ending up with a criminal record, as a result of
the passing of Prop. 64, who would otherwise become "criminals," might be
considered in the total human impacts of drug laws. *
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
Prop 64: Adult Use of Marijuana


The estimated revenue from the sale and cultivation of marijuana is $1
billion or more annually.  It will also save law enforcement and our prison
system money  -- about $100 million a year -- because fewer people would be
prosecuted for marijuana offences..


Why police and prison groups worry about California legalization
Follow the money: half of the funds for an anti-legalization campaign are
linked to law enforcement groups worried about their budgets

On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 9:44 PM, Ron Force <ronforce at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just to keep things in perspective, $1 billion is 0.6% of the California
> state budget. "Sin" taxes and lotteries rarely amount to much in the
> overall scheme of things.
> Ron Force
> Moscow Idaho USA
> On Mon, Sep 19, 2016 at 7:11 PM, Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:
>> Courtesy of the *Cannabist* (Denver, Colorado) at:
>> http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/09/16/california-marijuana-
>> tax-where-would-money-go/63307/
>> --------------------------------
>> Where would $1 billion in pot money go if California marijuana is
>> legalized?Here’s a quick glance at how Proposition 64 is set up for
>> spending California marijuana tax if legalized – from local benefits to
>> other revenue predictions
>> If you probe why the polls show a majority of California voters support
>> <http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/09/13/california-marijuana-legalization-poll/63119/> a
>> statewide effort to legalize recreational marijuana, increased tax revenue
>> inevitably comes up.
>> UC Irvine student Giovanni Chavez, like many backers of legalized pot,
>> says he’s primarily concerned about personal liberty and studies showing
>> disproportionate prosecution of minorities for drug offenses.
>> But after watching state and local governments struggle through recurring
>> budget crises, the aspiring political consultant said state-regulated
>> marijuana sales would provide a new and needed stream of tax dollars.
>> “We could use the extra revenue,” said Chavez, 21. “And the fact that we
>> would be able to interfere with the black market is huge.”
>> Supporters of legal recreational marijuana use point to Colorado, which
>> legalized cannabis for adults in 2012. There, taxes and fees on weed are
>> helping to build schools, repair roads and stabilize city budgets.
>> But critics of Proposition 64, California’s legalization initiative on
>> the November ballot, point out tax revenue from legal weed would be
>> dispersed much differently here.
>> Letitia Pepper, a Riverside attorney who uses medical marijuana to treat
>> multiple sclerosis but is a vocal opponent of the measure, noted none of it
>> would be dedicated to the general operations of local governments or
>> schools.
>> Proponents acknowledge California’s measure includes key differences in
>> how pot funds could be used. But they add that local governments and
>> students still can benefit from the measure.
>> An estimated $1 billion in new tax revenue would be directed toward
>> specific new or expanded programs such as drug use prevention and
>> treatment, helping at-risk youth, law enforcement, environmental clean-up
>> and research.
>> Jason Kinney, spokesman for the Yes on Prop. 64 campaign, said the
>> restrictions on public use of the new tax monies was intentional. If public
>> agencies were allowed to balance their general spending budgets with
>> marijuana taxes, he said, it could create an incentive for them to
>> encourage a bigger marijuana industry.
>> “The state of California shouldn’t be forced to rely on increased
>> marijuana usage to address future K-12 education, infrastructure and other
>> ongoing budget obligations,” he said.
>> Instead, Diane Goldstein of North Tustin – a retired police officer who’s
>> campaigning for Prop. 64 – argued that tax revenue from the measure would
>> be wisely used to offset some financial and social harms of the failed war
>> on drugs via increased investment in education, research and treatment.
>> Right now, hundreds of pot businesses operating in California – some with
>> local permits and many without – are paying state sales tax of close to 8
>> percent.
>> In 2015, the state took in $58 million in sales tax revenue from some 974
>> registered dispensaries, including nearly 400 in Los Angeles County and 70
>> to 80 each in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to
>> Board of Equalization data.
>> That revenue is on track to nearly double this year.
>> Under Prop. 64, all marijuana sales would be taxed an additional 15
>> percent starting Jan. 1, 2018, on top of levies on regulated growers of
>> $9.25 per ounce for dry flowers or $2.75 per ounce for leaves. Medical
>> cannabis patients would be exempt from the state sales tax.
>> The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts Prop. 64 state tax
>> revenues would total from the high hundreds of millions of dollars to more
>> than $1 billion each year.
>> That’s less than 1 percent of the state’s annual budget, or about what
>> California brings in annually now from taxes on tobacco products.
>> Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor who served on a state
>> commission that studied approaches for legalizing marijuana, summed up the
>> financial impact of Prop. 64 this way: “It’s not going to make us if we do,
>> and it’s not going to break us if we don’t.”
>> Tax revenue from legalized weed would first be used to cover “all
>> reasonable costs” incurred by the state to administer and enforce the
>> recreational cannabis regulations, according to the ballot measure.
>> The Department of Consumer Affairs, which would oversee the new marijuana
>> marketplace if Prop. 64 passes, doesn’t have an estimate yet of those
>> administrative costs, according to spokeswoman Veronica Harms.
>> The much smaller states of Oregon and Washington spend about $6 million
>> and $8 million a year, respectively, on their medical and recreational
>> programs.
>> Colorado, which has the oldest and most robust recreational marijuana
>> market in the nation, is budgeted to spend $16.3 million regulating legal
>> marijuana this fiscal year, according to Robert Goulding, spokesman for the
>> Colorado Department of Revenue.
>> The program “pays it own way,” Goulding noted, with industry taxes,
>> licenses and fees covering administrative costs while helping fund such
>> things as school construction, youth education programs and poison control
>> centers.
>> Still, Prop. 64 opponents, including Orange County Sheriff Sandra
>> Hutchens, say they’re concerned that tax revenue from legal marijuana sales
>> won’t cover harder-to-quantify effects on public safety and health issues.
>> One statewide Colorado levy on pot provides cities with money to use as
>> they choose. That allowed Denver to add $29 million to its general fund
>> budget in 2015, the Denver Post reports.
>> While Prop. 64 doesn’t provide new, dedicated revenue directly to cities
>> and counties, proponents say there are still ways local governments can
>> benefit from the measure.
>> California cities that permit recreational marijuana businesses could
>> increase income from sales taxes.
>> There also would be opportunities for governments, schools, public safety
>> agencies and nonprofits in cities that welcome the cannabis industry to
>> compete for hundreds of millions a year in grants that will fund substance
>> abuse programs, offset enforcement costs and more.
>> Opponents of legalized pot argue all law enforcement agencies should be
>> eligible for such grants, because the ballot measure would permit
>> cultivation and personal consumption of marijuana at residences across the
>> state.
>> “They’re still going to have to deal with the problems of home grows and
>> use, but there’s no money available to them,” said Andrew Acosta, spokesman
>> for the No on 64 campaign.
>> Kinney called such criticisms “disingenuous.” He pointed to a Legislative
>> Analyst’s Office estimate that the state will save tens of millions of
>> dollars each year in criminal justice costs if marijuana is legal.
>> The measure also says cities and counties can ask voters to approve extra
>> local taxes on cannabis.
>> At least 18 California cities have already approved such levies on
>> medical marijuana shops and farms. Among those is Santa Ana, which expects
>> to collect $1.5 million in pot dispensary fees and taxes this year.
>> Another 37 local measures appearing on ballots in the state in November
>> call for new taxes on marijuana sales or cultivation. Officials predict
>> those levies could generate up to $22 million a year in revenue for cities
>> and counties.
>> After covering administrative costs, here are some uses for the remaining
>> tax revenue if voters approve Prop. 64:
>> • $10 million annually for 11 years for public universities in California
>> to evaluate the impact of legalization and recommend policy changes, if
>> needed. Research will cover topics such as public health, public safety and
>> prices.
>> • $3 million annually for five years to the CHP to develop protocols for
>> determining when drivers are impaired by marijuana, with no good test
>> available now.
>> • $10 million, increasing to $50 million annually by 2022, for grants to
>> local health departments and nonprofits that support addiction treatment,
>> job placement, mental health treatment and other services for communities
>> such as Compton and Oakland that have been hard-hit by previous drug
>> policies.
>> • $2 million annually to the UC San Diego Center for Medical Cannabis
>> Research to study marijuana as medicine.
>> The remaining revenue will be divvied up to include:
>> • 60 percent to prevent young people from abusing substances by offering
>> grants to schools and county health programs, funding treatment programs,
>> helping at-risk youth and more. Estimated at $450 million or more a year.
>> • 20 percent to help state environmental agencies restore waterways
>> affected by cannabis cultivation and protect public lands from being used
>> for marijuana activities. Projected to be upwards of $150 million annually.
>> • 20 percent to the CHP to train officers for detecting DUIs and to offer
>> grants to local law enforcement, fire protection or public health programs
>> in regions where cultivation and sales are allowed. Expected to be some
>> $150 million or more each year.
>> Starting in 2028, legislators could funnel revenue to other programs. But
>> they could never reduce the dollar amount going to youth programs,
>> environmental agencies or law enforcement.
>> --------------------------------
>> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
>> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
>> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
>> Tom Hansen
>> Moscow, Idaho
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