Mon, Jan. 20

Letter: Anti-205 rhetoric fact check


After reading the “facts” from Mr. Luce last week I felt compelled to review and provide the actual ~facts~ of the issue.

Rather than offer up back of the napkin, probably and maybe ‘facts’, I have instead done my homework at his request and here we go: The Joint Legislative Budget Council (JLBC) of the AZ legislature, far from a liberal mouthpiece for the 205 campaign, (among others) has already done the math and provided the real facts. The updated report can be found at:

Estimated impact per the report:

• $8.6 million in both Fiscal Year 2019 and Fiscal Year 2020 to the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control and the Department of Revenue for marijuana regulation and tax administration.

• $6.8 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and $3.8 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to local governments with marijuana-related businesses within their jurisdiction.

• $15.2 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and $27.8 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to K-12 schools for operating costs, including teacher compensation, construction, and maintenance.

• $15.2 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and $27.8 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to K-12 schools for full-day kindergarten.

• $7.6 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and $13.9 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to the Arizona Poison Control System for public education campaigns about marijuana, alcohol, and other substances.

Their findings -- not campaign rhetoric.

In addition to the JLBC the non partisan Grand Canyon Institute ran an analysis and found the following:

“...Arizona’s 15% tax would generate $72.3 million in calendar year 2019, with $57.8 million going to schools. GCI’s estimate is based on Colorado’s revenues from the second year of legalization. When using Colorado’s second year sales data to project Arizona’s Fiscal Year 2020 revenues, the JLBC Staff estimates that revenues from the 15% tax will increase to $74.4 million in Fiscal Year 2020, with $55.7 million going to schools.”

Again -- Impartial 3rd party findings, not campaign rhetoric.

For their part the Prop. 205 campaign has conservatively estimated the initiative would generate $40 million for schools annually. In this case it seem the campaign rhetoric from 205 is far from overstated and far from back of the napkin, ‘probably’ and ‘maybe’ that Mr. Luce proclaimed.

Indeed we should all be fact checking and researching everything we vote for. But in this case the ones shouting the loudest and making the most dire claims seem to have not taken their own advice and done their homework.

In closing you will see or have seen many commercials against Prop. 205, funded by among others a 1/2 million dollar donation from a manufacturer of the deadly opiate Fentanyl (INSYS, please Google them as homework). They will claim that ‘Denver school’s got nothing’ from the Colorado cannabis taxes, what they will not tell you is that the Denver area schools never got anything because they never applied for any of the funding. However schools in the rest of Colorado did apply and received $27 million in funds.

If they are willing to make such verifiably inaccurate statements about that ‘fact’ then what other false ‘facts’ are they giving everyone? Misleading campaign rhetoric indeed.

Jesse Dowling


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