Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling for tax increases for Marylanders, including a new 6% tax on gas. But do other states have a better idea? The New York Times is reporting that taxes on medical marijuana are filling budget holes in California, Colorado and Oregon – States which have legalized – and heavily tax – medical marijuana.
The Times is reporting that Oakland California raised $1.4 million in marijuana taxes last year, or 3% of its total business tax.
Estimates are that Virginia could raise a billion dollars a year by distributing and taxing marijuana sales at its ABC liquor stores.
Best of all, a marijuana tax is one that could be supported by all. Even the most anti-tax, Tea-Partiers couldn’t argue that sales of marijuana should be tax-free.
This fall, Colorado and 7 other states will have ballot initiatives to treat marijuana like alcohol. After seeing the tax windfall from sales of medical marijuana, Colorado will decide to tax a piece of recreational marijuana sales too. Maryland is currently debating rules for legalizing medical marijuana. This important source of state income shouldn’t be overlooked.