In the other Issues pages, I have mentioned a number of initiatives that will cost money – transit expansion, training for law enforcement, increased pay for police and teachers, and more. Ideally I would not want to see an increase in taxes at the state level, however that may be unavoidable. But before we raise the income tax in Georgia, we must look to other states who have demonstrated successful alternatives to securing government funding.

After the state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, the state quickly learned just how much they underestimated the newly-created market. The original bill legalizing marijuana in that state limited the amount of money the state of Colorado could take through taxing the product – and in 2015, they hit that limit. Voters would later approve an amendment expanding the amount of money they could raise through the tax, but for several months there was active debate in the Colorado legislature on whether or not voters would receive a “marijuana tax refund”. Georgia can and should explore legalized recreational marijuana, as well as the agricultural production of the substance and industrial use of hemp, as options not only for creating new jobs but for generating new revenues for state government initiatives.

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