Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

Potential Taxes Play Key Role in Pot Legalization Debate

Nobody knows how much is at stake, but what politician doesn't salivate over a whole new industry to tax?

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A catchy pro-marijuana jingle for Colorado voters considering legalizing the drug goes like this: "Jobs for our people. Money for schools. Who could ask for more?"

It's a bit more complicated than that in the three states — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — that could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.

The debate over how much tax money recreational marijuana laws could produce is playing an outsize role in the campaigns for and against legalization — and both sides concede they're not really sure what would happen.