COLORADO: Is it high time for the federal government to legalize marijuana?
That’s what pot activists are asking a day after Colorado voters approved a historic ballot measure to tax legal marijuana sales, and Portland, Me., became the first East Coast city to vote to legalize marijuana for adults.
In Colorado, about 65 percent of voters approved Proposition AA, establishing a 15 percent tax on the wholesale sale of marijuana for adult use, and a 10 percent sales tax on retail marijuana sales, in addition to standard state and local sales taxes. The Colorado Legislative Council estimates that the initiative will generate $70 million in annual tax revenue, some of which will be used to fund the state’s public school construction program.
“We are grateful voters approved funding that will allow for a strong regulatory environment, just like liquor is regulated,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “We will do everything in our power to make sure kids don’t smoke pot and that we don’t have people driving who are high. This ballot measure gives Colorado the ability to regulate marijuana properly.”
Meanwhile, voters in Portland, Me., overwhelmingly approved Question 1, eliminating all legal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older within city limits.
In Michigan, three cities — including Lansing — voted to decriminalize the use or possession of up to an ounce of marijuana on private property by anyone 21 years or older.