Colorado's governor continues to urge voters to support an election-day referendum to tax marijuana, lest regulatory costs for the legalized trade fall onto the taxpayer.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, opposed legalizing marijuana in the past, but is now bringing the issue to the press to ensure administrative costs don't come from the general fund.

"I'll certainly promote the marijuana question," Gov. Hickenlooper told media. "We need to make sure we have the resources to have a good regulatory framework to manage this."

If tax-averse voters failed to approve the measure on Nov. 5, the state would be forced to pay the regulatory cost. As required by Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights, voters must approve tax increases such as the 15 percent excise and 10 percent sales taxes proposed by the state government. The governor will likely sign a bill passed by the house and the senate to tax medical and recreational marijuana.

Some state lawmakers expressed worry about the referendum. "We need to make sure that the implementation of Amendment 64 does not take away from K-12 education," State Sen. Cheri Jahn, a Democrat from Wheat Ridge, told the media. "This has to be a self-sustaining program. We don't want too much tax, but we want just enough."

Although Colorado voters have rejected tax increases to fund popular services such as K-12 education, pollsters say many voters have no problem with taxing the business of marijuana. Amendment 64, last year's referendum that legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults over age 21, requires that the first $40 million raised from the excise tax be applied to constructing new schools. This mandate was one of the reasons voters supported the initiative.

With the addition of the state sales tax and possible local taxes, the total tax burden might approach 30 percent of the trade. A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 77 percent of voters support the excise and sales taxes, and 18 percent opposed.

Mason Tvert, co-director of the "Yes on Amendment 64" campaign and director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, praised the proposed tax law. "The adoption of these bills is a truly historic milestone and brings Colorado one step closer to establishing the world's first legal, regulated, and taxed marijuana market for adults," he said. "Facilitating the shift from failed policy of prohibition to a more sensible system of regulation has been a huge undertaking and we applaud the many task force members, legislators, and others who have helped effect this change.

Tvert said the proposed tax structure would sufficiently fund regulatory and education costs.