Legalizing marijuana in New Jersey produce about $300 million dollars per year in tax revenue.
This is according to a new study released by the group New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform.
The report indicated that 365,900 individuals consume marijuana illegally in the state on a monthly basis. This amounts to 2.53 million ounces used per year. The report proposed a sales tax that would start at 5% but eventually escalate to 25% after a three-year period. After three years, the state would arrive at the $300 million figure.
The report also mentioned a significant increase in job growth that would be linked to legalization. In April of this year, New Jersey lost 7,500 jobs for the month. Additionally, the closing of the revenue generating Atlantic City Casinos has also been a poor economic signal. Marijuana legalization would increase jobs for dispensaries, construction, and other industries. Additional income taxes would also be collected by these new jobs.
“Facing yet another budget shortfall, New Jersey is again confronted with the untenable choice of either further draconian cuts or massive tax increases in order to balance the state budget,” said New Jersey United for Marijuana Steering Committee member Bill Caruso, Of Counsel at Archer & Grenier and former Executive Director of the New Jersey Assembly. “But, we have the ability to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue and create tremendous economic opportunities in our state by capitalizing on New Jersey’s geographic location and our world-class education and health care infrastructure. It’s time for New Jersey to get off the sidelines and into the game to join success stories like Colorado and Washington State. For every day that passes without safe and responsible legalization, taxation, and regulation of marijuana in our state, we are leaving money on the table.”
In January 2010, former Governor, Jim Corzine, signed a bill that legalized medical marijuana. Since Governor Christie was elected, he has had very tense moments with families seeking alternative treatment through the use of medical marijuana. However, could the new data push the Garden State into considering gardens of marijuana?