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VERIFY: Would legalizing marijuana be a moneymaker for Texas?

We hear this one a lot – legalized marijuana would generate a lot of tax money to help the state. But would it work for Texas?

Whenever we do a story about proposals to legalize marijuana in Texas viewers bring up how it could be a moneymaker for the state, pointing to the tax dollars Colorado is raking in.

But is that true? Let's verify.

First up our source, Joe Bishop-Henchman, the executive vice president of the tax foundation.

Legal recreational pot sales started in Colorado on January first 2014, and according to the tax foundation, after a slow start tax revenue on pot sales now exceeds original expectations.

Last year, Colorado took in more than $266 million in pot taxes with the total taken in since 2014 hovering around $1 billion.

But how much would Texas make?

The Tax Foundation has actually crunched the numbers. It says with a 15 percent tax rate Texas would take in $453 million a year.

Now that is a lot of money but keep in mind the yearly budget for the state of Texas is over $100 billion. That's billions with a “b.”

And there are costs associated with legalizing marijuana, for law enforcement, health enforcement and zoning.

So we can verify, yes, legalizing pot in Texas would make the state millions in tax dollars but it is not enough to answer all the state's budget needs.


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