New Bill to Tax and Legalize Marijuana in D.C. Could Solve Budget Deficit

As U.S. lawmakers look for ways to balance the national budget, a new bill formally introduced to the D.C. council this week may provide the answer as a major source of tax revenue.

The bill aims to legalize possession of marijuana for adults over 21, regulate sale and licensing and tax the transactions in order to help generate much-needed tax revenue in the nation’s capital.

Initiated by Councilman David Grosso, the bill would eliminate criminal penalties for possession and potentially generate a large new revenue stream by authorizing the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to license business to produce, process and sell marijuana – with a 15 percent excise tax levied on its sale to go toward substance abuse prevention programs, Wamu reported.

Colorado and Washington passed similar laws in 2012 and will begin issuing licenses later this year.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.