SEATTLE - The state's latest financial analysis says legalizing and taxing marijuana could bring Washington as much as $2 billion over the next five years -- or as little as nothing.
The Office of Financial Management released its fiscal impact statement for Initiative 502 on Friday, and the results track closely with its earlier analysis, released in March.
I-502, which will be on the November ballot, would legalize pot under state law and allow its sale at state-licensed stores, with tax proceeds dedicated to education and health care. Marijuana would remain illegal under federal law.
Analysts said that because it isn't clear how the federal government would respond if Washington legalized marijuana, they can't determine what the financial impact of I-502 would be. However, assuming that a fully functioning market takes effect, state revenue from pot sales could be more than $1.9 billion over five years.