Friday, March 23, 2012

Washington State Expects Windfall in Taxes if Recreational Use is Legalized

One of the compelling arguments for legalization of marijuana is the new revenue of taxes for governments on the local, state and federal level. New projections done by the state of Washington seem to confirm that belief.

If recreational marijuana becomes the law in Washington, the state's government projects revenues two times proponents predicted, The Seattle Post reports. State estimates put the total at more than $500 million the first year, with its total take at three quarters of a billion by 2014.

Marijuana would also bring in $130 million more than alcohol taxes. The study does not take into account taxes on growers and savings on law enforcement and incarceration costs, though a more complete study is on the way.

State lawmakers also point out, however, that the projections are based on guesses and does not take into account the impact the federal government will have if it cracks down on pot if Washington does legalize recreational use.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bellingham Cops Raid Collectives, Laws Confuse Owners

Police in Bellingham, Wash. launched raids on three of the town's collectives, claiming the businesses had too much marijuana on hand and too many members.

 Washington law allows collectives up to 10 members and to only have an inventory, at most, of 4.5 pounds of marijuana. However, there was confusion about the regulations pertaining to the amount of pot they could stock, with one owner claiming the law was 1.5 pounds per member.

The raids follow an attempt by Bellingham to revoke the business licenses of the medical marijuana co-ops in its city limits. Bellingham police told The Bellingham Herald that the raids have nothing to do with the license revocations. Collective owners said the city has not been clear about the law regarding medical marijuana, leaving them unclear as to their legal status.