FREE-THE-WEED campaigners speak not of “legalising” marijuana but of “taxing and regulating” it. True to their word, the ballot measure they placed before Colorado’s voters last November, which won the support of 55% of them, was called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and contained provisions for a 15% excise tax. Now that the law is taking shape, the signs are that one of the world’s first fully legal marijuana markets (Washington state also backed legalisation) will have all the taxes and rules anyone could have wished for.

Soon after Colorado’s law was passed John Hickenlooper, the governor, appointed a task-force to produce a set of proposals for its implementation. The 24-member group concluded its hearings on February 28th and will formally issue its findings to lawmakers next week. A bill should be passed by early May.