Thursday, March 9, 2017

Can pot help Pa.'s budget blues?

I don't know if Gov. Tom Wolf has ever been to Colorado, but I suggest he make the trip.

I was out there last summer, my first trip back since I loaded all my earthly belongings - including my degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder - into the back of a pickup truck in August 1978, pointed it east on I-70, and watched the Rockies slowly disappear in the rear-view mirror.

Things have changed just a bit.

When they say "Rocky Mountain High" these days, they're not just referring to the classic John Denver song.

Since 2012 Colorado has enjoyed the legal sales and consumption of recreational marijuana. It struck me like there was a dispensary in every little strip shopping center. And business is booming.

In 2016, the state racked up more than $1 billion in marijuana sales, in the process collecting more than $150 million in taxes.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale this week suggested the Keystone State take a page from Colorado, legalize recreational use of pot, and allow the state to regulate - and tax - it.

Gov. Wolf did not seem terribly impressed.

He noted that state faces a $3 billion deficit, and that $150 million won't make much of a difference.

We're not so sure who should be so quick to rule out this source of revenue.

We editorialized on it today.

1 Comments:

Blogger STUART BOWIE said...

What a great idea. Add it to expanding gambling and booze in grocery stores and PA's $3 Billion deficit is cured, right Phil?

March 9, 2017 at 11:01 AM 

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