New Rebuttal To Senate Committeeâ€™s Misleading Report
Earlier in March, members of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana issued a report onÂ the prospect of taxing and regulating marijuana. ThoughÂ the Committee claimedÂ it was offeringÂ objective analysis, the reportÂ was riddled with inaccuracies and cherry-picked statistics.
With research assistance from Vicente-Sederberg LLC, a national law firm specializing in all aspects of marijuana law, the Yes on 4 Campaign has published a rebuttal to the Committeeâ€™s report. You can read theÂ rebuttal here.
The CommitteeÂ led by Sen. Jason Lewis, now a steering committee member of the organization opposing Question 4, expressed skepticismÂ that the tax revenue from marijuana would not be sufficient to cover the costs of implementing the law. However, as the Yes on 4Â rebuttal report notes, in fiscal year 2014-2015, Colorado generated $103.2 million in total marijuana revenue while the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Divisionâ€™s total expenditures amounted to only $8.6 million. Given what we know about the cost of enforcement in other states and the regulatory structure for alcohol in Massachusetts, the tax revenue generated by marijuana will almost certainly be sufficient to cover the costs.
The Committeeâ€™s report also stokesÂ fears that allowing marijuana for adult use â€śmay increase the accessibility of marijuana for youth and contribute to the growing perception among youth that marijuana is safe for them to consume.â€ť What the report does not mention, however, is that teen marijuana use has decreasedÂ in Massachusetts since voters approved decriminalization in 2008 and medical marijuana in 2012, despite similar claims from opponents at the time.Â Nor does it mention credibleÂ data from the Healthy Kids ColoradoÂ Survey, which shows that marijuana use among teens has not increased since voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012.
Read more here.