The great registered voters of Massachusetts want it in writing that recreational marijuana, which close to half the state’s adult residents hope will pass this November, will not be irrationally taxed. Voters will go over the issue on the ballot with Question 4, which suggests a 3.75 percent excise tax on retail recreational marijuana sales.

This would be evaluated on top of the state’s normal 6.25 percent sales tax, basically creating a 10 percent tax for consumers. This puts Massachusetts’ pot tax rates much lower than the majority of other legal states. For Example take Washington State with their 37 percent excise tax on marijuana sales or Oregon with 25 percent. Colorado imposes a 10 percent sales tax on various marijuana products, but that’s on top of the state’s standard 2.9 percent sales tax.

While some state governments are viewed as having gone over the top when it comes to putting a hefty tax on marijuana, many others are putting that money to good use in their neighborhoods. Proponents of Question 4, such as Jim Borghesani, spokesperson for Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts, said that by keeping taxes relatively low, more customers will choose to buy marijuana from legal outlets rather than on the black market.

“We want the tax to be low enough to be able to fund the regulation and the administration of the initiative, but also to undercut the illicit market,” Borghesani told

Critics debate that the moderate tax structure won’t generate enough money to cover the regulatory and enforcement costs associated with legalization. Most of them are also against legalization, like State Senator Jason Lewis, a member of the anti-legalization group Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts.

Borghesani stated that opponents have a distorted view of the truth on what it would cost to fund the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.
Though it is probably safe to say it is always better to have each individual state figure out their own tax codes when it comes to pot sales.

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