Well, who would have thought? Barely a few weeks earlier the austerity fetishists were busted for trying to promote an academic paper by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff to justify massive spending cuts. But hey - it turned out the paper was flawed and the two turkeys that penned it didn't even know how to use a freakin' Excel Spreadsheet! (See e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/04/reinhart-rogoffs-fuzzy-spreadsheet-math.html.
Now we also learn one of the leading anti-MJ groups in Colorado (Smart Colorado) has been similarly busted by attempting to invoke another academic paper to support overturning Amendment 64.
Like the austerity hawks (who btw would have trotted out 'Simpson -Bowles II' two weeks ago except the Boston marathon bombing blew them off he media's radar - since it was to have been unwrapped the same day) the scandalous anti-MJ crusaders have no shame. Diane Carlson- heading the bunch- recently gushed:
"The latest research just confirms that marijuana proponents' promises to Colorado voters that Amendment 64 would be a financial gain to the state were empty. Even if voters approve the recreational-marijuana tax, the new pot market could be a net drain on the state's budget, the study indicates. That means funds for education, roads and other top priorities could be diverted to marijuana regulation"
Except it's all hyper-exaggerated bollocks. In fact, the study that Carlson referenced, by the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University, offers no serious evidence for such a claim. So it appears Carlson was swiping fairies or fairy tales out of thin air -like a well-known knuckle dragging blogger we all know. Denver Post columnist Vince Carroll adds (Denver Post, p. 5B today)
"It would indeed be scandalous if what the anti-Amendment 64 group said were true. ....Quite the contrary. The study actually provides estimates for annual marijuana tax revenues — $91 million from a special sales tax of 15 percent and $17.6 million from the existing 2.9 percent sales tax — that are far in excess of any conceivable regulatory or other expenditures related to legalization."
While the errors in the Colo. Futures study weren't blatant, as in the case of Reinhart-Rogoff, their omissions were definitely misleading, spawning misuse by the rabid, anti-Amendment, anti-democracy enclaves. This arises because the Center at no point explained its report's "key finding", i.e. that "marijuana tax revenues may not cover the incremental state expenditures related to legalization,"
Indeed, columnist Carroll notes that he asked the report's authors, Charles Brown and Phyllis Resnick, for help. It turns out, according to Resnick, the finding represents more of a worry expressed by some lawmakers and members of the governor's implementation task force than any careful analysis of actual data.
In other words, the report's authors gave far too much ballast to subjective reservations by known Amendment 64 skeptics, including Hickenlooper. This isn't "research" it's a propaganda vehicle! Carroll, for his part, merits commendation for exposing what it was really about - thereby kicking the support out from under 'Smart-ass Colorado' and any other anti-MJ crusaders in the state that might consider invoking it.
Another major omission of the report, as noted by Carroll, is that it never tried to quantify overall social costs from Amendment 64. Meanwhile, as Carroll notes, there would be major social savings. He writes:
"After all, legalizing pot should reduce the number of violators processed through the courts. The Colorado Center on Law & Policy, a left-oriented group, projects "$12 million in instant savings for the year following legalization because of reduced criminal costs."
That is considerable and blows all the critiques of the anti-MJ loons into a cocked hat.
Of course, none of this should be construed to mean these anti-MJ goofballs will stop their efforts to overturn the will of voters. No, they won't do that any more than the austerity fetishists and Simpson-Bowles groupies will halt their efforts to massively cut spending! You see, it won't happen because in either case it is ideology which drives the respective agendas, not facts or hard data.