When this story about the supposed “high cost” of the Initiative’s program to the state first ran, we mentioned it but didn’t make a full post, because we’d read the bill line by line. We knew something was seriously wrong with the State’s estimate and have been waiting for the whole story to come out.
Now thanks to The Salt Lake Tribune digging into the numbers (Thanks, Trib! You are awesome!), it’s been revealed that once again the state has been playing games when it comes to medical cannabis.
“Recently the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management (GOMB) released a fiscal impact amount for the proposed 2018 medical cannabis ballot initiative, similar to the process legislation goes through.
The analysis is less than a page long, does not include any process details and the confusing language has lead to claims the law would cost the state $3 million. It won’t! And GOMB knows it.”
The paper’s takedown is thorough and embarrassing for the state. Read it all, please! All we ask from everyone with an entrant in this contest of ideas is “play fair!” Including you, state government… …let’s decide this on the merits!
Also a word about why the Initiative won’t leave the state swimming a gazillion bucks of new revenue, a matter many seem confused about:
The initiative only deals with medical cannabis, and proponents are determined that the state not be allowed to make money on the backs of patients, many of whom are medically indigent, and the medicine won’t be covered by insurance at the present time.
Other medicines are not sales taxed and adding a “sin tax” on medical cannabis would only be a continuing insult to those who find relief.
So note that all those tax bonanzas are in the states with legal personal adult use (and who levy the high aforementioned sin taxes – as on cigarettes and liquor). And, since personal use is not in play in 2018, bottom line: no cannabis cash cow.
Sorry Utah, you’ll just have to pass medical cannabis because it works and will improve the health and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.
We hope that’s reason enough… 😉
#MMJ #Initiative #Budget #Tax #UTpol
See full article – Op-ed: Estimate of medical marijuana cost is way, way off