Starting in 2017, marijuana tax will be funding college scholarships for high school graduates in at least one Colorado county.
On Tuesday, 60% of voters in Pueblo County approved a new law that will result in an increase in taxes, 5% by 2020, on marijuana growers to fund college scholarships and other community projects. The county is expected to raise $3.5 million with this tax increase, and at least half the proceeds will go toward funding scholarships in Pueblo, and the rest will be used to fulfill a long list of community projects that includes enhancing a playground at an elementary school, funding a study about extending an Amtrak route to the county, and replacing golf carts at a local golf course. Depending on how well it does and the money generated, the program might be expanded in future years.
“The whole point of the scholarship program was to make higher education a reality for families who can’t afford to send their kids to school because of debt,” said Paris Carmichael, a spokesperson for Pueblo County.
This type of scholarship funded by marijuana tax will be the first of it’s kind. Others are looking to Carmichael to see how well he balances educating minors about staying away from recreational marijuana, while simultaneously supporting the growth and success of the industry. Hopefully, the development of this idea takes off smoothly and is met with cooperation and beneficial results in hopes to fund future programs similar. America making moves, one fundamental right at a time. Only time will tell, stay tuned.