Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Drug Money Is Funding Drug Education

grow-house 

Projected revenue figures for Colorado on marijuana taxes have been revised up and up and up, and Governor John Hickenlooper plans to put almost all of that money toward public health and addiction prevention programs.

On February 19, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper did something unexpected. He announced a state spending plan for nearly $100 million, with the vast majority of the funding devoted to improving drug awareness, addiction prevention, and public health—an enviable sum for any government to put toward normally difficult-to-fund initiatives. Even more surprising is that every dollar of that amount will come from tax revenues on the sale of drugs that were illegal until this year.

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use last year, but the first retail marijuana stores have only opened in the past few months—the state now has over 150 of them. The initial results are staggering, not just for the individual cannabis businesses but also for the state itself. Tax revenues from recreational marijuana sales, which hit $2 million in January, have exceeded all expectations. Voters were initially given a projection of $70 million in marijuana tax revenue, but the government now expects over $130 million in sales and excise taxes in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1. (Washington, which has also legalized marijuana sales but hasn’t opened the floodgates yet, expects $190 million over the next four years.)

For the rest of the story: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/drug-money-funding-drug-education-76387/

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