The Colorado 2012 ballot may include a proposal for legalizing marijuana, but local activist Douglas Bruce has brought a legal challenge against the proposal. Bruce, of Colorado Springs, argues the proposal to make pot legal for adults over 21 doesn’t properly say that it would raise taxes.
The legalization proposal says that pot would face a 15 percent excise tax. A state board charged with approving ballot language gave the proposal clearance last week, after settling an earlier challenge.
Legalization advocates are already at work collecting the 86,000 or so valid signatures needed to put the amendment on 2012 ballots. The marijuana proposal asks whether adults should be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, or six marijuana plants.
The measure states that recreational pot would be subject to state sales tax, plus an additional 15 percent excise tax, with the first $40 million a year set aside for schools. Proponents say they have no projection of how much tax revenue marijuana would produce, but they are trying to talk up pot’s potential to raise money. They’re calling their petition drive “Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.”
Bruce says the title of the ballot measure should include language in capital letters labeling it as a tax increase. Bruce is a former Republican state lawmaker who engineered the notorious Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which limits Colorado’s ability to tax and spend.