Schools or Stoners? Let the People Decide

(April 23) – The House gave preliminary approval this evening to a bill to settle a burning question: does Colorado want tax revenue from recreational marijuana to go back to pot purchasers?

HB15-1367, sponsored by Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, would place a referred measure an initiative on the 2015 ballot to allow the voters to decide whether $58 million collected by the state in taxes on recreational marijuana should be exempt from the TABOR limit on state revenue.

Under the bill, the majority of that money, $40 million, would be dedicated to school construction. The rest would go to marijuana-related law enforcement and public health programs. If the money is not exempted, it would have to be reimbursed to pot buyers and manufacturers and the general public.

“We believe that when they passed Amendment 64 and Proposition AA, the voters of Colorado intended for marijuana taxes to go to fund state priorities, not go back into the pockets of marijuana consumers,” Rep. Hamner said. “The voters’ intent was that this newly legal industry pay for itself.”

After a recorded vote, the bill will go to the Senate.

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