A Colorado County has created a scholarship for teens that is funded through marijuana taxes
One of the major arguments for marijuana legalization revolves around the new tax revenues collected by regulated sales. Funds derived from marijuana taxes have been used for a wide variety of social initiatives including school funding and homelessness outreach.
In Colorado, Pueblo County has come up with a new use for revenues generated through marijuana sales. Every graduating high school student in the county is eligible for a scholarship that is powered by marijuana taxes.
County Commissioner, Sal Pace, feels that money is being diverted from the black market and being redirected to teens looking to build their future.
“A couple years ago, these are dollars that would have been going to the black market, drug cartels,” he said according to CBS. “Now money that’s used to fund drug cartels is now being used to fund college scholarships.”
In February, Pueblo County started to accept applications for the new scholarship fund. Already, students are reaping the rewards.
“I don’t think without this scholarship I could continue my education without taking out loans and worrying about how to pay it back,” Colorado State University freshman Janet Calzadillas told CBS Denver.
Recreational marijuana is legal in eight states and the use of medical marijuana is permitted in 29 states. Recent polls show record support for legalizing marijuana use.
As authorities struggle to generate new revenues and pay for public services, legal marijuana could continue to grow in popularity. Besides sales taxes, the marijuana industry also helps create new jobs in construction, professional services, security, and of course at dispensaries and grow operations. All of this economic growth can lead to additional income taxes being collected.