Colorado continues to put cannabis taxes to good use, as funds are currently being used to build safe housing for homeless people with mental health issues, addictions, survivors of domestic violence and the disabled. Governor John Hickenlooper said the funds going into supportive housing for those in need ultimately save the state millions in future hospital and incarceration costs.
Cannabis Taxes for Social Improvement Projects
Touring a housing development in Denver being built on land donated by St. John’s Cathedral, Governor Hickenlooper reminded taxpayers that 40 percent of the homeless in Colorado actually have jobs but many were dealt a bad hand.
“That’s not the American dream, if you’re out there working 40 hours a week and still can’t afford an apartment,” he said. “This effort is looking at the other end of the spectrum; the chronically homeless, people who’ve had real challenges in their life and need the supportive services that this facility is going to provide.”
Hickenlooper and The Department of Human Services agreed that annual allocation of more than $6 million from the state’s marijuana tax cash fund for such programs would offer help to chronic drug users instead of criminalizing and jailing them.
According to the Colorado Department of Revenue tax data, weed dispensaries sold $1.3 billion worth of recreational and medical pot in 2016. And as of July of this year, reports show that recreational weed sales have generated more than a half billion dollars for the state.
Final Hit: Colorado Continues to Put Cannabis Taxes to Good Use
As these stats make clear, the money is there, and Colorado continues to put cannabis taxes to good use. About 51 percent of the accumulated tax revenue has gone to K-12 education, with $117.9 million of it used to fund school construction projects.
Another quarter of the revenue is split between substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. When collected and spent wisely, pot tax revenue can do a lot of good. Colorado is setting an excellent example.