The Ok-12 college in Deer Trail, Colorado, is in rot. The swimming pool is in such grave form that college students can’t use it anymore. People in wheelchairs have to be lifted up stairs. A sewage leak has closed the coach’s locker room. Even primary safety is a drawback, because the doorways are so out of form that they are often troublesome to shut and lock.
All of this, detailed in a report in the Denver Post, might quickly come to an finish. Thanks to an infusion of state money, the small city is lastly constructing a new college. And right here’s the kicker: Some of the money funding the varsity is coming from Colorado’s excise tax for marijuana.
That’s proper: Marijuana legalization helps construct new schools in Colorado.
It’s not simply Deer Trail. As half of the state’s legalization plan, Colorado allocates $40 million in marijuana tax money into the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program yearly. The money then goes to constructing new schools or bettering them.
BEST is anticipated to fund almost $300 million in class tasks over the 2017-2018 fiscal yr, of which about $40 million will come from the state’s marijuana excise tax.
The money has led even some folks skeptical of legalization to settle for some of its advantages. So far, not a single college district has rejected the funding.
“I don’t care where the money comes from. If we get a new school, I’m for it,” Hayley Whitehead, a Deer Trail graduate who works for the varsity district, advised the Denver Post. “I see the invoices and see what we need for repairs, so I have a pretty good idea of the situation here.”
The $40 million for BEST is just half of what Colorado will get from marijuana every year. In 2016, the state raised an additional $117 million by the remaining of its pot income, made up of marijuana license and software charges, gross sales taxes, and the excise tax. That different money was allotted to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, which is basically used for well being care, schooling, drug remedy, drug prevention, and legislation enforcement packages; native governments; and a public college fund separate from BEST.
Marijuana legalization can’t remedy each price range drawback. In complete, Colorado’s cannabis taxes and charges quantity to lower than 1 % of the state’s price range. When it comes to schools specifically, the Denver Post reported that faculty tasks alone will value $18 billion by 2018 — excess of the whole BEST program gives.
But legalization nonetheless gives a lot of money — greater than $150 million a yr — that Colorado in any other case wouldn’t get. It received’t remedy all of the state’s price range woes, however it does enable for further spending on some tasks that maybe couldn’t be executed earlier than. For Colorado, which means a bit of assist constructing newer, higher schools.
For extra on marijuana legalization, learn Vox’s explainer.
Source: The Herb News