Yesterday Colorado announced that it raked in $2 million in taxes from the newly found marijuana industry. Combined with the medical marijuana industry, that number increases to $3.5 million.
While you might think that is good news, just wait until you see how Breitbart spins it into a total failure:
The bullish predictions about the revenue Colorado would accumulate from sales of recreational marijuana may have been quite premature. In February, Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget office estimated that recreational pot shop sales added to medicinal marijuana sales would approach $1 billion in the fiscal year beginning in July; the budget office suggested $134 billion in tax and fee revenues entering state coffers.
But in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.
While Hickenlooper, an opponent of legalization, did make that prediction, using the first month of sales as an indicator of what will happen in the next 18 months is a failure in itself. Remember, we are talking about the birth of this new industry, the very first month. Not many stores were opened yet, so access wasn’t as widely available as it will be starting in July. Add to that Colorado’s huge tourism industry, and once travel season really kicks in, more and more people will be heading to one of those local shops and adding to the state coffers.
So in the first month, the state brought in a total of $3.5 million. The prediction for the fiscal year starting in January is $134 million or a little over $11 million per month. So in the first month, the state reached 1/3rd of the projected sales of an established industry. I would say with that math Colorado is seeing a great start and could reach their projections.
Then there are other considerations to be made here. What if we add in the moneys saved by not having to arrest, prosecute and jail people for having marijuana? I’m sure if you add that in, then we are closer to half if not 2/3rds of the projection.
And that tourism? What about people who will now head to Colorado for vacation thanks to the legalization? We now get the taxes from eating, attractions and hotel rental. Add that in and my guess is that they are actually hitting the projection.
But let’s not let those pesky facts distract us from the real right wing point here. The people that claim freedom and personal responsibility are sure to spin any news out of Colorado as bad news for marijuana legalization simply because they want the government to tell you that you can’t smoke it. It’s part of the big government mentality that truly plagues the right – a government so big they share your car, work and home with you.