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How should marijuana tax revenue be spent?

Posted: 10:39 PM, Sep 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-16 00:39:49-04

As Colorado prepares for a marijuana sales tax holiday on Wednesday, voters will soon have to make a decision as to how pot tax revenue should be spent.

Sales of marijuana are now proving to be strong.

"This is Colorado's new Gold Rush. But instead of a gold rush, it's a green rush,” said State Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont.

With tax revenue soaring above estimates, voters will soon have to decide how an estimated $60 million should be spent.

By voting yes on “Proposition BB” in November, $40 million would be allocated for school construction projects. The remaining tax revenue would be used for things like enforcement, prevention and education.

"Making sure that we have good drug and alcohol prevention programs in our schools, to making sure marijuana pays its own way so it regulates itself and taxpayers aren't subsidizing the marijuana industry," said Singer.

If the proposition fails, taxpayers would get a rebate ranging from $5 to $20 a person. Growers would see a refund and the tax on pot would drop to just 0.1% from the current 10%.

"It's just another revenue grab from the government," said anti-tax advocate Rob Corry.

Corry feels the current higher tax structure will fuel an underground market.

"That money is better spent by Colorado consumers for families, for our businesses, we're going to spend it more intelligently than the government,” he said.

As it stands, the tax on marijuana is slated to drop from 10% to 8% in 2017.