Do Colorado Schools Actually Get Money from Pot Sales?

Do Colorado Schools Actually Get Money from Pot Sales?

Jocelyn Reeder, reporter

For the past several months, we’ve heard nothing but negative campaign ads.  Aren’t you tired of hearing them all?  Several of these ads were about Proposition 205 – the legalization of marijuana and the propaganda against Colorado as the result of them legalizing weed.  Several ads stated that the money from pot sales was going to school funding and then several reported that it was not.  Well as a reporter, it is my job to go and investigate and get the real story. Here’s the truth according to credible sources.

According to USA today, Colorado collected about $ 63 million from marijuana sales in 2014. Much of that tax money does go directly into the state’s general fund. The rest of  that money goes to drug and substance abuse treatment. The money that goes to schools is being used for new roofs, boilers, and security upgrades. Scott Newell, the director of capital construction for the Colorado Department of Education, says that he expects to have about $17 million to put into schools. And there will be about $40 million to give to schools in the years to come. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, Doherty High School gets half of their school funding from a dispensary for pot. The boys and girls basketball team gets funded by a pot support group as well.

According to the Huffington Post, marijuana sales have generated more than $15 million in tax revenue for schools. $15.6 million goes to a program called BEST, Building Excellent Schools Today. The Denver Post reported that the state marijuana business sold a record amount of marijuana in January 2015. This produced more than $2 million in excise taxes flagged for schools in just that month. That is 10 times the tax revenue generated for schools in January 2014, which only brought $195, 318. Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project said, “Colorado voters wanted a portion of the tax revenue to be used to improve our public schools, and that is exactly what’s happening.”

Denver, Colorado has five retail marijuana shops in its city. They are projected to bring in more than $ 1 million in marijuana tax revenue this year. Their annual budget is $6 million dollars and they are getting 1/6 of that form marijuana sales.   According to NPR, other cities in Colorado are funding homeless programs and mental health programs.

In the final days of the campaign, Colorado lawmakers asked the No on Prop 205 campaign to yank one of its ads, which they criticized for “inaccurate and misleading statements” about how that state’s tax revenue was distributed to schools.  All of this is a mute point.

The final results: YES – 47.8%  NO – 52.2%