Expanding Texas Marijuana Tax Laws Could Increase State Revenues

ID-100141995.jpgUnder current Texas tax law for controlled substances, marijuana is taxable by the state at $3.50 per gram for purchasing, acquiring, importing, manufacturing, or producing the substance. Because Texas has not legalized marijuana yet, the state government is preventing adults who use the substance from complying with Texas tax laws. By threatening such adults with arrest and imprisonment, the state government is causing Texas to miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the most profitable crop in the United States.

As seen by a recent court decision where Texas’ inadequate funding of schools was ruled unconstitutional, Texas is certainly in need of greater resources to finance its obligations toward Texas children. In 2011 the Texas Legislature voted to deprive Texas schools of $5.4 billion in funding, despite soaring school enrollments, because the state government simply didn’t have the budget for additional funding. The current Texas Legislature has the opportunity to lessen the massive hardships it previously put upon Texas schools by borrowing the ideas of the neighboring state of Colorado.

A study by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy showed that Colorado’s new law, which regulates and taxes marijuana, will produce $60 million in new revenue and savings for that state within five years. According to the submission clause of the law itself, the first $40 million raised would go to funding public schools in Colorado. Because the population of Texas is about five times greater than the population of Colorado, in my view Texas would reap even greater financial benefits than Colorado if Texas ends prohibition on marijuana. If adults in Texas are given the liberty to decide for themselves whether they want to use the substance for hemp products, recreation, or medicine, rather than have the government dictate what Texans can and cannot use, Texas could fix some of its financial troubles through increased revenue opportunities. Further, by reducing costs related to criminalizing users of the marijuana, Texas could better spend limited government resources on truly important, and constitutionally mandated, projects like adequately educating Texas children.

Fortunately for the current Texas Legislature, prior Texas law makers have already put a Marijuana Tax framework in place which can be expanded upon. Not so fortunate for Texas adults however is the fact that a marijuana user, even if he attempts to pay an authorized marijuana tax, could still face criminal charges. Until the Texas Legislature acts to regulate the substance, and in doing so creates new resources to assist in school funding, the courts remain the main battle ground for not only attempts to get more school funding, but also for seeking justice in an individual’s drug-related criminal case.

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Gilbert Garcia has been Passionately Pursuing Justice for over 30 years and founded The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm in 2008. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is a boutique law firm, specializing in Criminal Defense. Gilbert represents adults and juveniles accused of a crime and who have with a felony, misdemeanor or record cleaning case. Conveniently located on the courthouse square to serve Montgomery and Walker Counties. Gilbert became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989. The Gilbert G. Garcia Law Firm is located at 220 N. Thompson St., Suite 202, Conroe, TX 77301.  www.ggglawfirm.com.

Drug Related Charges may include: Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Dangerous Drug, Manufacturing a Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Delivery or Intent to Deliver Marijuana/Dangerous Drug/Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and many other drug related charges.

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