Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One Year Later, Taxes on Weed Legalization is Yet to Yield Big Tax Benefits

Before Washington voters could decide on legal weed, the State government had to determine whether such legalization would benefit the State through the revenue earned through tax. The governments financial forecasters looked into their data collected and determined that the state’s take from pot taxes in the first year of sales could be nothing — or could be as much as $249 million. That was the uncertain future facing an untested state-regulated system operating in defiance of the federal ban on all marijuana.

A year since legal sales began, the maximum windfall, touted by Initiative 502 campaigners, hasn’t yet materialized — neither have the horrors predicted by legalization opponents.

Year One of legal pot business started more frustrating than giddy. Stores were slow to open and supply was scarce. But the inaugural year ended with prices dropping and sales climbing in June to a daily average of $1.5 million.

The bigger story is that Washington’s system, with its underage-buyer stings and evolving regulations, passed muster with the Obama administration. The feds have let Washington and Colorado carry on their experiments, charting a course for Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., where voters legalized weed last year. Five more states, including California, are likely to vote on legal pot next year.
According to the ACLU several other jurisdictions have followed suit, and Washington has become an example of a public-health approach to legalization which has sparked change at the federal and international level.

The march into other states suggests that legal weed’s impact on public health, driving and other concerns has not been drastic — or even detectable. Youth use in Washington, for instance, did not increase in 2014, according to a survey of more than 25,000 students. Nor did the number of young people involved in fatal car crashes but it certainly would not be wise to draw conclusions from those numbers yet.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a drug DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a drug  DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

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