Money Matters: The truth about marijuana sales

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Iowans currently have no legal access to marijuana and it’s unclear if the state will adopt any form of legalization any time soon, especially with the lack of support from lawmakers.

Twenty three states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, and four states have legalized weed for recreational use, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

This January marked a year since Colorado residents could legally purchase, sell, and possess marijuana for recreational use.

But when the law was passed, lawmakers had the munchies for more cash and made sure to pin a 28 percent tax rate on the leafy THC-laced plant.

So how high are the marijuana sales?

One year later and the state has made $53 million from those tax revenues, which is a little less than what the state had projected when the law was first passed ($70 million).

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron released a report that brought light to how much money the government could save if it stopped criminalizing marijuana use.

Miron’s findings revealed that legalizing weed would save the government $7.7 billion the per- year on enforcement. In other words, the fact that Colorado police officers don’t have to charge or go after marijuana users is probably saving the state a lot more money.

So maybe this nice chunk of change could start paying for Iowa’s deteriorating roads and bridges? Just a thought.