About a month into Colorado's adventure in legal marijuana commerce, Gov. John Hickenlooper is raising estimates of how much tax revenue it will bring in from $70 million all the way up to $98 million.
It is worth noting, though, that you really want to think about the fiscal impact of legal pot in a more comprehensive way. A key question about the public health impact of legal marijuana is how does it change alcohol consumption patterns. To the extent that legal marijuana displaces legal booze purchases, you're going to see an offsetting decline in alcohol tax revenue. Which would be fine—a big win for public health, in fact—but not quite the financial bounty states may be hoping for. Alternatively, if legal pot leads to a complementary surge in beer drinking, you'll have lots of tax revenue but potentially large problems.
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney
Or at least trade it for something.
- Texas Lab Worker on Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola as Dallas Hospital Apologizes
- Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent
- Racist Rancher Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder in Bizarre Campaign Ad
- Supreme Court Allows Texas Law That Accepts Handgun Permits but not College IDs to Vote
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.