|Graphic: Reality Catcher|
With Nevada’s state budget $900 million in the red and a fiscal crisis facing the state, a pro-marijuana group is urging Gov. Jim Gibbons to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana to help close the budget gap.
Gov. Gibbons will deliver his State of the State address Monday night, in which he will discuss Nevada’s financial crisis. According to some reports, the governor is seeking new ways to close the budget gap and is willing to put all options on the table.
“In order to get the state back on sound financial footing, the governor must consider not only cuts in spending, but also new sources of tax revenue,” said Dave Schwartz, campaign manager for Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws.
|Dave Schwartz: “There is no greater opportunity than regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana to adults”|
”There is no greater opportunity than regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana to adults,” Schwartz said.
“A legal marijuana market would likely generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, just based on excise and sales taxes,” Schwartz said. “It would also create thousands of new tax-paying employees in the state, as well as new businesses in areas revitalized by the existence of marijuana retail stores.”
Schwartz said that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, which is already widely available in Nevada.
“By giving adults in the state the legal option of using marijuana instead of alcohol, we could make our communities healthier and safer, while generating new revenues that can used to improve our roads and our schools,” Schwartz said.
“This is a no-lose opportunity, and we sincerely hope the governor will seriously consider it.”