State Revenues Could Reach New High With Pot Legalization

Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 12:29 PM

By Lisa Barron

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A marijuana legalization measure that is likely to be on the California ballot in November 2014 would be a windfall for the state coffers.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris released a summary of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act last week stating the fiscal benefits of legalizing pot.

"Reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders," it said.

"Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of which is required to be spent on education, healthcare, public safety, drug abuse education, and treatment, and the regulation of commercial marijuana activities."

There is a slight delay in finalizing the initiative, though, because it originally read that those under 21 "may" be prohibited from using pot, and it should say "shall," reports LA Weekly.
But the wording has been changed and an amended version is likely to be released on Jan. 31.

"We're expecting a title and summary nearly identical to the one that was just released, if not even more supportive," Dave Hodges, one of the bill's main supporters, told the Huffington Post.

Hodges, a San Jose marijuana dispensary owner, said there is enough time to make the deadline. "If we can get the funding we're searching for, the signature gathering can be done in two to three weeks," he told LA Weekly.

"We're still aiming for 2014 election," he said.

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