Marijuana

States See Tax Bonanza in Marijuana

Back to the black market

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Now that voters in Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, dope smokers there can light up without the usual paranoid fear that the cops are at the door.

The taxman is another matter.

Cash-starved legislators are seeing dollar signs in dime bags — with talk that a tax on marijuana could pump hundreds of millions or even billions into budgets still reeling from the recession.

"I've seen some estimates in the high tens of millions, as much as $100 million for [Colorado]," said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who's pushing a federal legalization in Congress. Money like that could make a big difference, he said — including a "substantial dent in needed school improvements, particularly in poorer districts."