For years and years, grungy hippies have been telling everyone and anyone that would listen that if we would only regulate and tax Marijuana in the same way as we do alcohol, states would see a huge financial windfall that they could use to pursue other productive programs, or debt relief.
Now, thanks to Colorado, those hippies have some proof. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has raised the estimated revenue from the state’s “legalize, regulate and tax” plan, from $70 million this year to $98 million, 40% above initial expectations. Colorado began selling weed on January first of this year, and local distributors, despite their problems using Federally-regulated banks, have been raking in the cash.
Currently, Colorado has plans to spend the windfalls on six programs, including, ” $45.5 million for youth use prevention, $40.4 million for substance abuse treatment and $12.4 million for public health”. In addition, the Governor’s plan calls for $40 million per year from the sales to go towards school construction. In a letter to the legislator earlier this year, the Governor wrote, “We view our top priority as creating an environment where negative impacts on children from marijuana legalization are avoided completely”.