Shot at the pot
Last Thursday, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy released a study saying the state could see $60 million-plus in combined savings and revenue if Amendment 64, the effort to decriminalize marijuana, is passed by voters in November. That amount could balloon to $100 million within five years of the law's implementation, says study author Christopher Stiffler.
The numbers came under immediate criticism from No on 64, the group opposing the ballot measure: "This report triples the estimate from the state's unbiased, non-partisan Office of Legislative Council in the Blue Book," campaign director Roger Sherman told Denver's Westword, citing a report that shows the amendment could increase revenue anywhere between $4 million and $22 million.
But it's all in what you're counting, says Stiffler in an e-mail to the Independent.
"The reason why our report differs from the Blue Book analysis is that I considered additional factors than those considered by Legislative Council staff," he writes. "My analysis calculates state sales tax, local sales tax, excise tax, and savings to law enforcement. ... Our report estimates $8.7 million in state sales tax revenue."
The CCLP also says the amendment could create more than 350 jobs, mostly in the construction industry, and generate $24 million annually for the state's Building Excellent Schools Today competitive grant program.
• The Cannabis Alliance for Regulation and Education is holding a so-called money bomb "to fund litigation to uphold the privacy of the confidential medical marijuana patient registry." The group, affiliated with the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project and led by Kathleen Chippi, unsuccessfully tried to appeal the firing of an MMJ patient to the Colorado Supreme Court. Contact Chippi at 888/328-4367 if you're interested in donating.
• Facebook reversed course and began accepting advertising promoting pro-marijuana political campaigns, the Huffington Post reported last week.
— Bryce Crawford