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Letter to the editor: Tainted marijuana incident raises issues

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16th, 2013

I am writing in regard to the two recent articles about tainted marijuana. This is further evidence that outlawing marijuana, or even not permitting legal sales when it is otherwise allowed by law, never has and never will prevent individuals from obtaining it. Given that, it seems that it would be a much better system to have some kind of regulation controlling it, thereby knowing where it comes from and what is in it, than having individuals obtain it from whatever street source they can find. If this particular individual had obtained his marijuana from a legal source, that source would be known and would therefore have an incentive to make sure their product was pure and unadulterated.

Additionally, the most recent issue of the Colorado Springs Independent (Oct. 9-15) states that in the third quarter of the fiscal year, El Paso County received $349,999 in sales tax on medical marijuana. The paper further states that so far this year El Paso County received $1,001,808 in retail and sales tax. I am sure Alamosa County (and/or City) wouldn’t reach this number, but revenue from sales tax on recreational marijuana could be a significant contributor to the city and county coffers.

When the law legalizing marijuana goes into effect, the money from taxing the product can either stay in the Valley, or go to another locality which allows the legal sale of marijuana. Bars and liquor stores are allowed in the city and county while alcohol arguably does more harm than recreational marijuana ever could.

To all the citizens who signed the letter supporting the proposed RV park based on the revenue it is supposed to bring in, are you on the same side of the legal marijuana issue?

In regard to the marijuana sales tax issue on the ballot, while a tax similar to that on other goods would raise revenue for the city and county, an onerous tax which increases the price up to 30 percent above the actual cost will only insure that unauthorized providers remain, thereby not only losing any revenue for the city and county, but also continuing to needlessly endanger our citizens by putting them at risk of tainted and impure marijuana.

Paul Christian


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