Colorado easily OKs tax on marijuana for schools and police

Colorado easily OKs tax on marijuana for schools and police

Credit: Getty Images

Jars full of medical marijuana are seen at Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The dispensary is one 25 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles fighting to stay open after city prosecutors began notifying 439 medical marijuana dispensaries that they must shut down by June 7. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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by CNN.com

CNN.com

Posted on November 7, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Washington (CNN) -- Last year, voters in Colorado approved legalizing recreational marijuana, and on Tuesday night, they resoundingly supported taxing it.

With nearly all votes counted, 65% supported the new tax, while 35% opposed it. The measure would impose a special 15% excise tax on marijuana to help fund school construction, along with a 10% sales tax to bolster marijuana-related law enforcement efforts.

The passage was widely expected, despite opponents arguing it's unfair to single out marijuana for higher taxation than products such as beer.

Strong support for the measure is pegged largely to the money it is expected to bring in. The nonpartisan Colorado Legislative Council projects that the measure will generate nearly $70 million in additional state tax revenue next year.

However, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade school-finance overhaul was rejected; it would have increased income taxes about $1 billion a year and revived a progressive income tax structure abandoned in the 1980s.

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