I went to public schools my entire childhood, from pre-school through 12th grade. If there is one thing that I know about public schools, it’s that they never, ever have enough money. Growing up, I constantly heard about budget cuts, would see my teachers spending their own money on supplies for the students, and I’d see programs getting cut because there simply wasn’t enough funding. I don’t think there’s a public school in America that couldn’t use more money. And that is a big reason why marijuana legalization is so important.
The taxes from recreational marijuana sales in the states that legally have them help fund schools. In Colorado, where the industry is currently the biggest, marijuana tax revenues have helped out quite a bit since the beginning of 2014. The revenues keep growing, with almost no end in sight, so much so that the 2015 revenues have already surpassed the entire 2014 year totals. Per The Cannabist:
The Colorado Department of Revenue’s just-released marijuana tax data for May 2015 shows one clear winner: schools.
In the first five months of 2015, the state’s pot-funded excise tax that collects money earmarked for school construction capital brought in more money than it did in all of 2014. While that specific school tax’s 2015 take may not reach the $40 million number used to lure voters toward the state’s pot-legalizing Amendment 64 in 2012, its recent growth is exciting to lawmakers and industry alike.
“It sounds very encouraging,” said state senator Pat Steadman, D-Denver. “Voters wanted the school capital construction program to benefit, and despite some bumps in the road at the beginning, it looks like what was intended is coming to fruition.”
Remember when Kevin Sabet said that for every tax dollar generated, there would be ten dollars in social costs if/when Colorado legalized? How is that math working out for you right now Mr. Sabet? Because I don’t see any downside to what is going on right now. I wish my local schools had tens of millions of dollars to work with, basically created out of thin air. I know I ask this a lot but, why isn’t every state doing this? I can’t wait to see Oregon schools benefiting from legalization where I live in the not-so-distant future.