Friday, April 10, 2015

Disappointing Results from Colorado's Marijuana Dispensaries

So we are going to Colorado next week to visit our amazing daughter, Lindsay, and while we are there we will definitely visit a couple of marijuana dispensaries. It's really quite mind-boggling to think that you can walk into a store, say, the Fresh Baked marijuana dispensary in Boulder, and select your clear little baggy of weed and have it weighed and then after it's paid for you go home and invite your friends over to smoke.

I never was much of a marijuana smoker, but one funny thing I haven't told my daughter is that back in the 1970s (yes, way back then) when I was living in Berkeley, I had marijuana plants
growing on my window sill. I was no druggy but everyone I knew smoked marijuana in those days, and sometimes we ate it in brownies too. I remember going to a concert with my friend Greg and eating a couple of bites of a brownie first and then getting so stoned that I couldn't remember the concert the next day.

One disappointing thing I have to tell my daughter: she's been saying for months that the state of Colorado is getting rich by taxing marijuana sales, that the state has so much money coming in that they don't know what to do with it.

Alas, yesterday's New York Times reported that the amount of taxes being collected by the state of Colorado aren't as high as officials expected they would be. In February of 2014, the governor of Colorado projected that in the first year of legalization, $118 million in taxes would be collected on recreational marijuana. Now it looks like the real figure will be more like $69 million.

Part of the problem is that legal sales of marijuana aren't what officials expected they would be. That's because customers of medical marijuana have been slow to switch to the recreational drug market. The reason? Medical marijuana is taxed at a lower level.

Still, it's quite an amazing thing that Colorado has done, legalizing a drug that is less dangerous than alcohol.

Will keep you posted on our visit next week.

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