Pubdate: Wed, 15 Apr 2015
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2015 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Author: Timothy D. Leavitt


In November 2012, Washington state voters approved Initiative 502
legalizing recreational marijuana. Part of the appeal of legalization
was the potential of a new revenue source for cities.

To date, Washington has brought in over $31 million in excise tax
revenue from marijuana sales, expected to reach over $362 million by
2019. Yet none of the excise tax revenue is shared with cities, and
only a small portion of retail sales tax is retained by cities.

Washington state relies on local cities to enforce marijuana laws.
Cities need to receive a share of the excise tax revenue to help deal
with the additional impacts created by the legalization and sale of
marijuana, including enforcing regulations and increased demands on
our police.

As mayor of Vancouver, I applaud the Legislature for taking the first
steps in acknowledging the need to provide a share of marijuana tax
revenue to local jurisdictions. As the Senate and House work together
to craft a compromise budget, lawmakers need to put the safety of
their communities and their public first, and share a meaningful
portion of marijuana tax revenues with cities.

Strong cities make a great state. But strong cities need the state's

Timothy D. Leavitt

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