It's Weird, I Know, But Here's How Marijuana Money Is Helping Students

Dec 8, 2017 12:00:00 AM

by Rob Samuelson

Marijuana legalization used to be a dicey subject, one that was considered impossible. But funny things happen once you show what a marijuana sales tax can do. The 2012 law passed by Colorado voters had a pretty nifty wrinkle to it: Some of the tax revenue from cannabis sales would be pumped into the state’s various school systems. And Colorado schools are getting some nice stuff out of the deal. According to the Arvada Press, schools across the state are hiring extra staff for “mental health, counseling, dropout and other programs that help students socially and behaviorally.”

Every Little Bit Helps

Now, this money is not a panacea. The $230.8 million raised by the state from marijuana sales since 2015 only accounts for about 1 percent of what the Colorado Department of Education spends annually on its districts. But here’s the thing: Students in Jefferson County Public Schools dealing with emotional or psychological issues now have six new people to speak with. Kids in the Douglas County School District now have another school counselor. The list goes on throughout the state. These things matter. More resources lead to fewer kids slipping through the cracks. More resources mean better outcomes.

Rob Samuelson

Rob Samuelson is a Staff Writer at Education Post and Digital Media Manager for the brightbeam network.

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