Cannabis on JPR

How $1 billion in pot taxes gets spent in Washington state

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      Those preset obligations are partly why Washington lawmakers generally don’t consider pot revenue an ideal source of money for new initiatives. For instance, a proposal to legalize possession of all types of drugs in Washington state, House Bill 1499, wouldn’t tap marijuana tax revenue to pay for expanding drug treatment programs, as a similar law in Oregon does.

      “Funding from the dedicated marijuana account is essentially already spoken for … and it funds a lot of stuff that we care about,” said state Rep. Lauren Davis, D-Shoreline, the prime sponsor of Washington’s drug decriminalization bill.

      This spring, Washington legislators are expected to pass a new two-year operating budget that spends more than $55 billion. All of the state’s projected pot revenues over the next two years amount to less than 2% of that.

      “It’s a lot of money, but in the scheme of the state budget, it’s a relatively small percentage,” said state Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, who serves as House Republican lead on budget issues.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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