Former NM Gov: Washington State ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ for Rec Regs

Photo of Gary Johnson for medical marijuana

A former governor has advice for states looking at regulatory models for recreational marijuana: steer clear of Washington State’s example.

Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico and current CEO of Cannabis Sativa, said recently during an interview with The Oregonian that Washington’s rec rules are the “worst-case scenario.”

Johnson ran for president in 2012, a bid he is expected to reprise in 2016.

Washington State has “screwed it up as bad as they possibly can,” Johnson said.

“They have taxed it to the level where if you are a prior user of marijuana, prior to it being legal in Washington, you are still consuming it on the black market because of how expensive it is. It’s the worst-case scenario and they have it playing out in Washington State,” Johnson said.

Johnson advised future states, including Oregon and Alaska, to “forget about tax revenue” and focus on other benefits of legalization.

“The tax revenue from marijuana gets dwarfed by the savings in law enforcement, the courts and prisons. You are moving the entire industry from a black market,” Johnson said. “If there were no tax revenue at all we would be way, way ahead because of all of those other things.”

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  1. Howard Wooldridge March 16, 2015
  2. Mark Burcaw, D.C. March 16, 2015
  3. steve March 17, 2015
  4. Clark_G March 17, 2015
  5. jason March 18, 2015
  6. Indica Bob March 19, 2015
  7. Indica Bob March 19, 2015
  8. Edward Mordrake March 19, 2015

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