Christie: Marijuana Taxes Are 'Blood Money'

By May Wilkerson 04/01/15

The New Jersey governor is taking the moral high ground when it comes to benefitting from drug taxation. 

Chris Christie

New Jersey won’t be making money off legal marijuana anytime soon if Chris Christie has anything to do with it. The New Jersey governor is vehemently opposed to legalizing marijuana, and claims taxing revenue from it would amount to “blood money.”

“As long as I’m governor of New Jersey, there won’t be legalized marijuana in this state,” said Christie at the opening of a drug abuse treatment facility. “This should not be permitted in our society, it sends the wrong message. Every bit of objective data tells us that it’s a gateway drug to other drugs.”

Christie suggested that legalizing pot would create a “slippery slope” towards legalization of other drugs, like heroin and cocaine. 

Regarding states like Colorado that have generated tax revenue from legal marijuana, Christie said: “To me, that’s blood money. I’m not going to put the lives of children and citizens at risk to put a little more money into the state coffers, at least not on my watch.”

He even refuted the idea that these states have made big bucks from taxing legal pot, suggesting that many businesses run on a cash model and the taxes never reach the state.

Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Colorado has proved complicated. The state, first in the country to legalize recreational marijuana, was estimated to make up to $100 million in tax revenue in the first year. But in reality, the state yielded closer to $44 million, leading many to suspect that these taxes were going up in smoke. 

Also, even after legalization, a bulk of marijuana purchased in Colorado is under-the-table. Taxes on marijuana in Colorado add up to about 30%, so many people continue to purchase the drug on the black market at a cheaper rate. An estimated 40% of pot bought in the state is illegal.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.