Legal marijuana in Colorado has generated more than $15 million for schools
Since January 1st 2014, when Colorado’s first consumer cannabis shops opened, $15.6 million has been generated specifically earmarked for public schools. The Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program is the result of a special voter-approved 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales. In fact marijuana sales in Colorado have been so stratospheric that each Colorado adult’s in line to get back $7.63 due to the economic stimulus provided by legal marijuana.
Colorado’s Education Department projects that in the 2014-2015 fiscal year the program will take in about $108 million in revenue, from all sources, including an estimated $16 million total in marijuana excise taxes, reports the Huff Post who go on to say that in the fiscal year following, the department projects, it will take in another $16 million from marijuana excise taxes, with a total of more than $90 million in revenue that year. More from the Huff Post:
“Money from marijuana sales that used to disappear into the underground market is now appearing in the state’s school construction fund,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project and a key backer of the 2012 amendment that legalized adult use of marijuana in the state. “Colorado voters wanted a portion of the tax revenue to be used to improve our public schools, and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Tvert added that while generating tax revenue isn’t the most important reason to end prohibition and regulate marijuana, it is one of the benefits.
“In addition to controlling the production and sale of marijuana,” Tvert said, “it is raising significant revenue for important, otherwise underfunded programs.”
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