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AZ Could Make $48 Million Per Year Taxing Legal Marijuana

Arizona Legal Marijuana Taxes

According to an analysis by the Arizona State Legislature, the state could generate an additional $48 million in revenue each year by legalizing and taxing marijuana. It shows that Arizona could enjoy a large boost in revenue for schools, health care and other services simply by taxing people who already use marijuana.

The report, which was produced by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in September wasn’t made public, but the New Times was able to obtain a copy of it.

The report only takes into consideration the increase of potential taxes, but doesn’t account for the large amount of money that would be saved annually in Arizona by halting arrests, criminal prosecution and jailing of marijuana users. According to the New Times, “Phoenix police alone arrest about five people a day for possession of marijuana, with no other crimes alleged.”

The report was conducted in response to a bill proposed earlier this year that would have made marijuana legal for adults over 21 years old. It would have also made it legal to sell recreation marijuana in retail stores with a $50-per-ounce tax.

The bill died in April, but a similar measure may come back around in January. Regardless, Arizona voters are likely to see a legalization initiative on the ballot in 2016 coordinated by the Marijuana Policy Project.