On Election Day, Colorado voters had to decide whether they wanted $66 million in marijuana tax revenue to be returned to taxpayers and pot growers or let the state distribute the money for public services. With almost 70 percent of the vote, residents chose to give the money to the state. That means that revenue from marijuana sales will go toward funding educational programs, school construction, and various other services in Colorado that voters evidently prioritize.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, and the system has proved so popular that the state brought in more than $100 million in pot tax revenue in August alone. There's a ten percent sales tax and 15 percent excise tax on recreational pot, but an accounting error almost forced the state to return that revenue, the Associated Press reported. So lawmakers crafted Proposition BB, a measure that let the voters decide for themselves at the polls.
Here are 11 ways the state will use the $66 million in marijuana tax revenue.
1. $40 million for school construction.
2. $2.5 million for marijuana education and prevention campaigns.
3. $2 million for bullying prevention school grants.
4. $2 million for drop-out prevention school grants.
5. $2 million for youth mentoring services.
6. $1 million for poison control centers.
7. $1 million for local government marijuana impact grants.
8. $500,000 for substance abuse screening, intervention, and referral.
9. $500,000 for substance abuse treatment.
10. $300,000 for Future Farmers of America and 4-H programs at the State Fair.
11. $200,000 for roadside impaired-driving enforcement training for peace officers
Because the state made way more than lawmakers had anticipated, there is an additional $8 million in marijuana revenue that has yet to be allocated.
"The measure's main author, Democratic state Sen. Pat Steadman, said the $8 million will go to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, which can be used for numerous educational and anti-drug efforts," the AP reported.