DENVER—This November, Colorado voters will decide whether to approve an additional 10 percent state sales tax and a new excise tax of up to 15 percent of retail marijuana sales with up to $40 million each year going to K-12 schools in the state. During the 2012 election, a majority of Coloradans voted in favor of Amendment 64 to regulate and tax marijuana, and it is now a part of our State Constitution. Under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, however, voters must now specifically approve the additional sales tax and creation of the new excise tax.
The following statement is to be attributed to Attorney General John W. Suthers:
“Despite my strongly-held personal belief that the ‘legalization’ of marijuana on a state level is very bad public policy, the state must do the best job possible of implementing Amendment 64 and regulating the new recreational marijuana industry.
That requires voters to approve the necessary financing to ensure the new industry fully funds its own regulation and covers the state’s expenses related to the legalization of recreational marijuana. These taxes will provide funding for construction on Colorado's public schools, as the voters intended. I also see no other way to ensure the state recovers the significant expense of responsibly regulating this new industry and receives funding for the inevitable public health, education, and safety costs. For these reasons, I encourage the citizens of Colorado to pass an additional sales tax and new excise tax.”
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