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Monday, December 10, 2012

NY Times: Marijuana Taxes and the Fiscal Cliff

Marijuana New York Times:  A Look at Taxing Marijuana:

Here’s a thought for a tax increase that might at least break some of the tension in the room between President Obama and John Boehner: a marijuana tax. ...

The fact that some states are starting to relax their marijuana laws got analysts at the Tax Policy Center thinking. What if the drug were legalized nationwide and taxed?

The center looked at two studies, one of which estimated that a marijuana tax could bring in $9 billion a year in state and federal tax revenues and save roughly the same amount on law enforcement. ... Another study, which used the approximate tax on cigarettes as a benchmark, estimated that a marijuana tax could bring in $1.4 billion to California alone.

(Hat Tip: Mike Talbert.)

Update:  The RAND study linked to in the NY Times article did not in fact estimate that taxing marijuana in California could raise $1.4 billion. The study cautioned that the actual amount could be much lower or much higher, depending on a number of factors.  See Tax Policy Center, Dude, Should Marijuana Be Legalized and Taxed?

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/12/ny-times--5.html

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