Arkansans Should Vote On Recreational Marijuana

There’s an effort to put recreational marijuana on the November ballot. And there’s also an effort by some to not even let the people of Arkansas vote on what the law should be. Arkansans should get a chance to participate in the national conversation, and vote.

Arkansans aren’t interested in having the government tell them what they can’t do in their own homes. Marijuana is not some boogeyman anymore, and it’s time to stop criminalizing it and falling back on stale arguments. Almost half of Arkansas has used marijuana at some point, we shouldn’t be locking people up or spending tax dollars on trying to criminalize it. Arkansas has real needs to address and the revenue from this could be a real life saver.

This state and the nation are changing and harassing our citizens for something that could be legal in the state next door is the wrong path. Looking around the country, it’s clear there’s a national trend toward more personal freedom and smartly utilizing a new source of badly needed tax revenues. Democrats want people to be free to make decisions in their own lives.

According to the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, Arkansas is leaving $96 million in revenue on the table…

In states allowing taxable sales of recreational cannabis, annual cannabis excise tax revenues ($1.04 billion) already rival total excise tax revenues collected from all forms of alcohol ($1.16 billion) including beer, wine, and liquor. In Colorado and Nevada, cannabis excise taxes raise more revenue than alcohol excise taxes, and the same is projected to occur in California by 2020. Notably, all six states reporting cannabis revenue data raised more from excise taxes on cannabis than from sales of beer and wine, and the total amount of cannabis excise tax revenue reported across these states ($1.04 billion) more than tripled the amount of revenue raised from excise taxes on beer and wine ($304 million) in 2018.