Former Colorado Sen. John Morse
was willing to see Amendment 64 repealed rather than have the state allow recreational marijuana without taxing it. This earned him the enmity
of cannabis supporters and may have played some part in his recent recall.
The fight has found the issue again with the organization of the No on Proposition AA
campaign, named after the ballot question coming this November. It will ask voters to enact a 15-percent excise tax and 10-percent sales tax (with the option for the Legislature to bump it to 15, but no higher, at any time).
The campaign's been adding the two together and calling
the potential 30-percent total "the highest tax increase in Colorado history." It doesn't really work that way, as the Denver Post
wrote the other day
, because the excise tax is for pre-consumer sales between the grower and dispensary, while the sales tax affects the post-mark-up product sold to customers.
"Assuming the retail markup is about 175 percent, [Charlie] Brown said, consumers will pay about 8.6 more at the register," wrote reporter Jeremy Meyer. "In addition, consumers will still pay the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax. So, statewide, the highest tax rate a consumer could see is 26.5 percent. In year one, it will be more like 21 percent statewide, not 32.9 percent ..."
Either way, though, another prominent marijuana supporter, Colorado NORML
, also recently weighed-in against AA. Its reasons are below: