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Should We Legalize Pot and Tax It? [POLL]

David McNew, Getty Images
David McNew, Getty Images

Yesterday I cited an article our Kevin McArdle had written as to the plan to raise the tax rate on e-cigarettes, which would be brought in line to reflect the tax on regular cigarettes.

If the idea of smoking the e-cigarette is all about replacing the regular cigarette, the dangers of which are already documented, then doesn’t it follow that were we to make the taxes the same on e-cigarettes, one might just go back to the real thing?

So one would think.

And if the idea of raising the tax on the e-cigarette is to plug the eventual budgetary holes, wouldn’t a better source of income be to look to the west where Colorado, in its first month of legalized marijuana sales, took in $2 million in new taxes?

I know, it’s crazy talk. But according to this from CNN.com:

Colorado raked in about $2 million from taxes on recreational marijuana in January, the first month it was legal to sell non-medicinal pot in the state.
State officials say the numbers came in as expected.

Colorado places a 15% excise tax, a 10% special sales tax and a 2.9% sales tax on recreational marijuana, in addition to application and license fees. It imposes just a 2.9% sales tax, as well as application on license fees, on medical marijuana, which was legalized by voters in Colorado in 2000.

When combined with taxes and fees from medicinal marijuana, the state brought in a total of $3.5 million in January from pot sales.

A big chunk of the funds collected from marijuana taxes will be funneled to programs aimed at keeping kids way from pot.

And no doubt to plug some holes in their budget.

Just like we could be doing were we to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.

Plus keep out of jail those recreational users of the drug, who don’t belong there in the first place.

And this update from the New Jersey Law Journal regarding calls for a referendum on marijuana use:

New Jersey lawmakers from both parties are supporting legislation that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, provided the electorate approves.

The bill, A-2842, would schedule a referendum on whether to abolish the current statute that makes possession an ounce or less of the drug a disorderly persons offense.

The introduction came two weeks after the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association expressed its support for legalization of recreational use.

One of the sponsors, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, serves as a municipal prosecutor in three towns. “If you talk to a lot of people in law enforcement, they’ll tell you that police have better things to do with their time,” he says. “Just as a prosecutor, 90 percent of my drug cases are marijuana, and 90 percent of them are the joint in the ashtray. … It really is a prosecutorial headache,” he adds.

While public sentiment may favor legalization, a hurdle to the referendum is Gov. Chris Christie, who has vowed to block any such legislation.

So despite public sentiment leaning toward some form of legalizing marijuana, if it ever came to pass that this were to be placed in a referendum, would you vote to legalize the recreational sale of marijuana here.

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