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News Link • Drug War

Colorado's Amendment 64: How the amendment affects the state's budget

By Cecelia Gilboy

Amendment 64 isn’t about legalizing marijuana. It’s about money.

Yes, you can vote for it because you want to legally possess an ounce. But that’s already decriminalized — you’re just saving yourself a potential $100 fine.

The ounce you buy at a store will be taxed. From these taxes, $40 million will be directed to schools. By buying that ounce, you’ll help Colorado’s children and teachers.

Maybe you’d rather grow your own. But even if Amendment 64 passes, that won’t exactly be legal. State law would allow you to grow six plants. But don’t try to grow seven — that’s illegal. So critics contend that Amendment 64 won’t reduce the number of people jailed for marijuana.

But Amendment 64 would still save Colorado law enforcement $12 million a year, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Even Boulder has victims of robbery, assault, rape — victims who would appreciate that $12 million spent stopping their assailants, not busting marijuana users.


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