Drug Law

Top California Official Favors Taxing & Regulating Marijuana

| by Marijuana Policy Project

For decades, advocates of marijuana policy reform have argued that a regulated and taxed marijuana market would generate revenue for government on the local, state and federal levels. There have even been studies projecting tax revenues from marijuana sales at $6.2 billion and even $31 billion annually.

Occasionally – although far too rarely – we have even seen elected officials reference the possible revenue-generating benefits of a legal marijuana market. But today we read something that we can’t recall seeing before. A notable elected official actually cited a legal and taxed marijuana market as the best means of generating revenue for her state.

Betty Yee, chairwoman of the five-member California State Board of Equalization, made her feelings clear after a gloomy speech about the state’s current fiscal situation. Here is how the article conveyed her position:

As for new revenues, Yee is favoring Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s marijuana legalization approach, which will likely appear in some form on the November ballot and would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana growing to the tune of about $1.4 billion a year.

Will she be ignored or will she be joined by other elected officials finally willing to accept this most logical position? We are hoping – and advocating for – the latter.