Could “Pot for Potholes” Fill State Budget Gaps?

Marijuana sales have been favorable for Colorado.

Scoff at this idea if you’d like, but Colorado has collected at least $68 million in marijuana tax revenue during the fiscal 2014-2015 year.

Now other states are considering legalizing recreational marijuana, taxing it and using the profits to improve and repair roads.

There is a heated battle to stop a gas tax hike in South Carolina led by liberty-minded state senator Tom Davis, who also sponsored a bill to legalize cannabis for medical purposes.

In many states, voters have struck down penny tax increases to repair roads. Could legalizing and taxing pot be the answer?

Michigan State Rep. Brandon Dillon (D) told local affiliate Fox17 that taxing marijuana might not be the answer to every spending issue, but it’s definitely part of the solution.

Dillon said that the potential for tax revenue from legalized recreational marijuana could reach a half billion dollars.

“That would go a long way in easing the burn on middle class families and others who have to pay the entire fright for roads, police and fire protection and public schools,” he explained.

Many of Michigan’s urban areas have decriminalized marijuana, which has saved money within the criminal justice system.

Lansing, Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero said that Pot for Potholes is a grassroots movement in support of what its name implies.

Cities in other states are also considering the same idea, especially as roads continue to age and revenue from gas taxes continues to decrease as cars become more fuel efficient.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said that legal weed could bring in money the city needs to make repairs.

“It could bring a lot of money back to cities,” said Cranley.

One proposal to legalize marijuana in Ohio would place a 15 percent tax on the drug’s sale. Out of those tax dollars, 55 percent would go to cities and townships.