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Marijuana Legalization Already Helping School Funding In Colorado


colorado schools marijuanaJust about every cannabis opponent uses the ‘what about the children?’ argument when they are at speaking engagements or are providing quotes in the media about cannabis. Cannabis supporters also use arguments that involve a children angle. But instead of describing a doomsday scenario like cannabis opponents, supporters point out that regulating cannabis prevents kids from accessing cannabis, unlike the black market.

Another argument that cannabis supporters use involves cannabis taxes and schools. Schools are hurting for funding, and taxes that are generated from a legal, regulated cannabis industry can help with that problem. This is already happening in Colorado. Per The Denver Post:

The state Department of Education’s program to fund capital projects — known as Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST, grants — had received more than $1.1 million from marijuana taxes in May when it made the annual award recommendations.

The state also is readying another $2.5 million from pot taxes so interested schools can hire health professionals.

The additional capital project money has been welcomed as the state fund for the BEST grants has been declining and the program reached a cap for the financed grants it could issue through bonds.

Just as cannabis taxes are helping schools in Colorado, so too will cannabis taxes help schools in Washington now that sales are legal there. If Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. legalize cannabis this November, schools in those areas will also benefit from cannabis tax revenues. Every state needs more funding for schools, and they should let the cannabis industry help. It’s time all states took a new approach.

Source: Oregon Cannabis Industry Association


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Only teachers or people married to teachers (my case) know how hard it is. Teachers, unlike most careers, have to take home everyday and weekend work. They have to deal with hundreds of kids when their own parents cant. When the DoE cant supply the teacher with material, they have to buy it themselves…The job is pretty tough for 19k after taxes..btw She’s a teacher in Puerto Rico.

  2. Most people that attended public school know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their school needed more money, and better teachers… Why on Earth would you say that children in school should not be entitled to a better learning environment? And teachers have inflated salaries? When was the last time you saw a public school teacher driving a Mercedes? Thanks Ms. Grinch.

  3. It is wonderful that marijuana tax revenue is helping schools. However, I disagree with the idea that schools always need more funding. No schools need better teachers, willing to work for a normal teachers salary, not these inflated salaries teachers are getting now, if they don’t work the entire year, they shouldn’t get a salary including the summer months. Second all schools need to abandon and get rid of common core. The problem with our schools is not lack of funding, it’s lack of efficiency in utilizing the funds they already receive, ie going into the pockets of top administrators and kids having computers and laptops at every desk, how about a library or computer room, kids can learn without iPads! I learned just fine without all these added expenses that do nothing to further improve the education of our children. More money is not needed for schools, efficiency and proper teaching is what’s needed. Property taxes go to public schools, if you think about all the money that goes into property taxes each year, you would understand schools already have more than enough funding backing them, who knows if the property tax funds actually go where they should or in pockets of government officials, all I know is we should be funding non-GMO projects and anti-NSA, and helping to fund the revolution against this government who is trying to take every single one of our personal liberties away. Funding from the taxes of canabis sales needs to go elsewhere and the way the schools utilize their money needs to be reformed, throwing more money at a broken system is not going to do anything but give you more of the same. Common sense!

  4. It’s amazing what cannabis is doing for people. Not only for sick people in need of real medicine but also helping to provide better education for the children. Hopefully every other state that legalizes in the future also gives revenue to school systems.

  5. Opponents forget basic facts because they get tunnel vision and only see what they only want to see. The fact is schools need more money, because some teachers need better teaching skills. More money in schools better teaching, better student learning. Our children our only future. Marijuana legalization will end black market sales that sell to children. It will stop 10 year old dealers. It will stop so much and help so much how can there be anything but legalization ?

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