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Thursday, October 17,2013

Election Guide 2013: No on Boulder Ballot Issue 2A

By Boulder Weekly Staff

City of Boulder Ballot Issue 2A
Recreational marijuana tax

Vote No

In addition to the statewide taxes for recreational marijuana that are on the ballot, Boulder residents will also get to vote on two citywide taxes on recreational marijuana.

Ballot Issue 2A calls for a 5 percent excise tax and a 3.5 percent sales tax on recreational pot. Each tax could eventually rise as high as 10 percent.

Boulder Weekly is endorsing Proposition AA, the statewide taxes on recreational marijuana. But combine those with the taxes proposed by 2A, and you suddenly have an extremely high tax burden placed on retail marijuana shops within city limits. The high taxes could incentivize pot smokers to make their retail marijuana purchases in Denver, where just a proposed 3.5 percent sales tax is on the ballot.

City Council wants to spend the taxes on both regulation — managing licensing and enforcement — and treatment and education, including educating children about the dangers of marijuana. How many free-range eggs will be crushed in a frying pan during the city’s “This is your brain on dope” campaign? We’d rather not know. More seriously, Boulder has not effectively demonstrated the need for additional regulation on the city level that goes beyond what the state will provide, nor has it shown that there is any reason to worry that recreational marijuana will result in increased use among children.

The taxes proposed by Ballot Issue 2A are excessive and unnecessary. Vote no.

View all of Boulder Weekly's endorsements here.

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