Considering the numerous reports about all the tax revenue states are bringing in after legalizing marijuana, you'd think more governments facing budgetary crises would consider allowing recreational sales. Well, turns out in Kentucky, that may be the case.
Kentucky state senator Dan Seum introduced a bill that would allow recreational marijuana in the Bluegrass State. In August, a report said that the Kentucky government was facing a $200 million deficit in 2018, and that state pensions would be at risk if the situation was not resolved. As a response, Seum introduced his bill hoping to bring in up to $100 million in tax revenue.
“There is an estimate now that we have to come up with $1 billion in new money in our budget to cover this problem,” Seum told the press. “My argument is before any new taxes, let’s explore the potential of new monies."
Other benefits for allowing recreational marijuana are increased employment as a new industry grows in the state as well as less money spent on imprisoning people for marijuana violations.
Unfortunately, Seum's proposal may be dead-on-arrival in Kentucky. Kentucky is one of only 21 states in America with no legalized recreational nor medical marijuana laws. And past proposals to change the state's cannabis rules have never gained serious traction.
But perhaps facing a giant budget deficit and the political risk of denying people their pensions will be enough for Kentucky to give up its old-fashioned ways and finally embrace legalization.