Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revenue Raised through Washington's I-502 Legalization Proposal Could be Billions — or it Could be Nothing

A study conducted by the Washington Office of Financial Management estimates that the state's I-502 proposal, which sets up mechanisms to legalize and tax marijuana, could raise up to $1<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>9 billion in additional new revenue over five years<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

Or it could generate no income, the Seattle Times reports.

If I-502 is made law, Washington's Office of Financial Management sees two scenarios: one in which pot shops sanctioned by the state government sell to adults and another where the federal government swoops in and shuts down the businesses<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a>

The report states that there are "significant uncertainties related to federal enforcement of federal criminal laws" regarding pot. Raids on growers and retailers — which would be operating legally under state law if I-502 passes — "may prevent the development of a functioning marijuana market<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>"

In a situation to parallel to Washington's, the U<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>S<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a> Department of Justice promised to enforce drug laws when California considered legalizing marijuana in 2010<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

Proponents of I-502 believe that a wide victory may provide a mandate that keeps the federal government away. Alison Holcomb, campaign manager for the initiative, said the government conducted raids on storefronts that were abusing state medical marijuana laws<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

However, many dispensaries in Los Angeles and San Francisco would beg to differ that only abusive stores have been targeted by the feds<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a>

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