Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound

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Marijuana plant

Marijuana plant (AP Photo)

DENVER (AP) – Marijuana legalization pending in three states this fall could turn the drug into a serious cash crop and a tax windfall. But there are more questions than answers about the tax implications of legalization measures before voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

The debate over how much tax money recreational marijuana laws could produce is playing an outsize role in the campaigns for and against legalization. Both sides concede they’re not really sure what would happen.

At one extreme, pro-pot campaigners say it could prove a windfall for cash-strapped states with new taxes on pot and reduced criminal justice costs. At the other, state government skeptics warn legalization would lead to costly legal battles and expensive new bureaucracies to regulate marijuana.

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