Colorado’s surplus cannabis tax revenue is effectively being utilized for a noble cause. Many communities, including Colorado, have taken measures to abate America’s culture of bullying in the age of social networks. 73 schools in 14 school districts across Colorado were awarded cannabis tax grants ranging from $40,000 to $120,000.
The money is available thanks to Colorado’s Proposition BB, which allows the state to retain surplus tax revenues from cannabis sales. Schools that are awarded the grants will receive specialized anti-bullying training. The schools will form a bullying prevention committee that compels teachers, staff and parents to get involved as well.
The program is currently being put to the test. Annie Trujillo is an employee at New America School in Lowry, Colorado, who is applauds the program. “It’s a three-year grant program so the amount goes up a little bit each year,” Trujillo told Fox31. “New America School is a charter school. We work with English language learners and students who are coming back to high school to graduate.” Trujillo’s school received a $40,000 cannabis grant during the first year of the program.
For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the Colorado Department of Education(CDE) announced last fall that $2.9 million of surplus cannabis tax revenue will go toward bullying prevention grants. “One of the things we really want to do with this grant is to educate out students, our teachers, our parents on what bullying is,” explained Amanda Novak, Dean of Culture at Westgate Community School. Westgate Community School received $70,000 in grant money to fight bullying.
The Colorado Department of Revenue’s latest figures show that the state’s total recreational and medical cannabis sales reached $1.3 billion in 2016. A 15 percent wholesale tax, a 10 percent retail tax, and a 2.9 percent sales tax are partially earmarked for the purpose of public education. Chris Stiffler, an economist from the Colorado Fiscal Institute criticized educational funding efforts, claims that cannabis tax revenue merely improves renovations and roofing at schools. The anti-bullying program is just one of the new ways that cannabis tax revenue benefits the education sector.