Published On: Thu, Oct 13th, 2016

New Rebuttal To Senate Committee’s Misleading Report

Earlier in March, members of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana issued a report on the prospect of taxing and regulating marijuana. Though the Committee claimed it was offering objective analysis, the report was riddled with inaccuracies and cherry-picked statistics.ma2

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 Committee’s report. You can read the rebuttal here.

The Committee led by Sen. Jason Lewis, now a steering committee member of the organization opposing Question 4, expressed skepticism that the tax revenue from marijuana would not be sufficient to cover the costs of implementing the law. However, as the Yes on 4 rebuttal report notes, in fiscal year 2014-2015, Colorado generated $103.2 million in total marijuana revenue while the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’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 Committee’s report also stokes fears that allowing marijuana for adult use “may increase the accessibility of marijuana for youth and contribute to the growing perception among youth that marijuana is safe for them to consume.” What the report does not mention, however, is that teen marijuana use has decreased in Massachusetts since voters approved decriminalization in 2008 and medical marijuana in 2012, despite similar claims from opponents at the time. Nor does it mention credible data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, which shows that marijuana use among teens has not increased since voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012.

Read more here.

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