The state of Texas is known for many things: steaks, big hats, cows, George W. Bush. One thing Texas is not known for is leniency when it comes to things like cannabis. But that is slowly changing.
Just four years ago only 33% of Texans supported cannabis legalization; that number is now up to 46%. While 50% still oppose recreational legalization, a 13-point jump in only four years is quite impressive, especially in a state as conservative as Texas.
Colorado voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana for adults almost three years ago. One of the advantages of legalization is the regulation of the quality of cannabis sold when it comes to things like pesticides. Those who have ever bought marijuana on the black market know there is no information or standards; the weed you get was grown however the grower felt like growing it. Maybe they used pesticides, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they used natural methods of pest control or maybe they sprayed their plants with tons of toxic chemicals.
The controversial marijuana legalization measure that will be on the Ohio statewide ballot next month (Issue 3) continues to generate news stories and opinions on both sides.
We all know the positive things that cannabis legalization brings: retail sales, home growing, legal possession; all these things that are encompassed within Issue 3, along with the legalization of medical marijuana. Tax revenue, thousands of jobs, less police resources wasted. Check, check, and check.
Recreational cannabis sales began in January of 2014 in the state of Colorado. Over the course of 2014, the state collected roughly $76 million in marijuana taxes, an impressive amount. But the taxes collected this year are on pace to dwarf last year’s number by quite a bit.
Estimates have this year’s taxes from marijuana in Colorado exceeding $125 million thanks to an almost 28% tax rate when you add up the rates from all the levels of taxation. It’s a rate that is much higher than alcohol or cigarettes.
Under the original plan for rolling out Oregon’s recreational retail shops, the first won’t open until late 2016. But in August in an attempt to curb heightened black market activity over the next year, the state’s legislature and governor decided to allow currently operating medical marijuana shops to sell a limited amount of recreational cannabis.