Colorado figures out how to spend marijuana money
Now comes the fun part.
Colorado legislators this week started figuring out how to spend the additional revenue brought in from the state’s legalization of marijuana, which took effect at the beginning of this year.
Voters have already decided to spend the first $40 million on school construction, but anything beyond that is up to the discretion of the state’s lawmakers.
According to multiple reports, the state should have at least an additional $25 million to spend this year from the sale of the drug, but it appears that money could go to youth drug-prevention programs and efforts to reduce stoned driving.
The state’s legislative Joint Budget Committee met Tuesday to review a proposal from Gov. John Hickenlooper on spending the money. The governor has said the top priority should be reducing any negative impacts from legalization on children.
Just last month, Colorado took a major step in educating the public in the dangers of marijuana – along with giving details about the state’s new laws – with a new website from the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.
Following years of debate, Hickenlooper signed a number of bills into law last May allowing for the recreational use of marijuana by the state’s residents. The first stores to sell the drug opened at the beginning of 2014.
Marijuana consumption is now permitted in the state in a similar manner to alcohol, but must be done in private and is limited to adults over 21.