On July 1, marijuana possession became legal in Virginia, with government-regulated commercial sales of cannabis due to begin exactly three years later. It’s fair to say that Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee for governor, is not a fan of marijuana — he says he’s never known a habitual user to succeed in life — but his campaign recently denied a claim by Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe that he would seek to repeal legalization if he was elected governor. His campaign said that the former equity investor’s beef is that tax revenue projections “are way overstated, as they have shown to be in other states.”
Is that really the case? Youngkin’s quotes on the matter are from earlier this year, but they are still relevant in light of the recent dispute between the campaigns.
In one set of remarks, Youngkin specifically mentioned three states — California, Oregon and Colorado — and in the other remarks Youngkin declared that “every single state” has fallen short on revenue projections. That’s a line that was echoed by his campaign.
Part of the problem with sweeping statements like this is that legalized marijuana has slowly gathered steam across the country. The first states that imposed taxes had less experience than the states that followed, which could apply the lessons learned. There is a fine balance between raising taxes high enough to generate substantial revenue but low enough so the already thriving illegal market is basically put out of business by the state competition. [Read More @ The Washington Post]
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