Politics

Marijuana Tax Revenue In Colorado Nearly Doubles In One Year

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The tax revenue collected from marijuana sales in Colorado has nearly doubled in the past year.

In June 2015, the state collected $9.7 million in taxes related to marijuana sales, almost $5 million more than the same month last year, TIME reports.

In the first five months of 2014, marijuana tax revenue generated $25 million. The first five months of 2015 saw a huge jump with $44 million.

“It's not surprising, especially when the people are responsible for bringing this in," Miguel Lopez, chief organizer of the Denver 4/20 rally, told ABC 7 Denver. “With that kind of revenue, you could take states that are really in the red and help pull them out.”

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Colorado collected more than $88 million in marijuana taxes as of May 2015.

The state’s marijuana tax revenue has residents of other states supporting legalization.

"Colorado is leading the way,” Hawaii resident Matt Binder said. “I don't like all that money going to gangs and cartels. I'd much rather see it go to the state. I'm sure we could use it.”

According to Colorado's Department of Revenue, $23 million in tax revenue will be used to fund public schools in 2015. In June alone, $3 million was used for schools.

"The wave of change is slowly starting to take shape,” Jamie Perino, owner of Euflora marijuana shop, said. “Colorado set a really good precedence within the U.S. We can only hope that the government is doing the right thing with it."

There are currently four states where marijuana for recreational use is legal: Washington; Oregon; Colorado; and Alaska. It is also legal in the District of Columbia, Governing reports. Medical marijuana usage is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Sources: ABC 7 Denver, Governing, TIME

Photo Source: Carlos Gracia/Flickr, WikiCommons