Pot Legalization Is About To Give $1.75M In College Scholarships Annually To Needy Youth

When Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use they began pulling in such a huge amount of money through tax dollars that they’re literally running out of places to spend it. In 2014 alone the state scored $700 million. To put that in context, the state budget for the state of Colorado in 2013 was $28.5 billion with a total revenue of $11.5 Billion. By 2016, weed is projected to bring in over $1 billion in revenue to the state.

Last week Pueblo County, Colorado passed a local bond initiative that will increase the taxes on weed by 5% by 2020. Half of the revenue will go to special projects, but the other half is going to be put in a fund to pay for local college scholarships for needy families.

“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,” Paris Carmichael, a spokesperson for Pueblo County told WTVR.

It’s the first scholarship of its kind in the country but hopefully will become the model for what is possible if more states legalize marijuana. What isn’t spent on college will go to update playground equipment, golf cards at the local golf course and a study about extending Amtrak out to the country.

This revenue doesn’t even include all of the things that go into using weed nor does it account for marijuana-related travel. So, pipes and bongs and any other paraphernalia aren’t necessarily included in the total revenue here. Since legalization, Colorado has become the weed vacation spot of the midwest, so people are flocking to the state which is also helping pull in cash from gas purchased, hotel rooms, food and restaurants, not to mention late-night fast food runs when you get the munchies. This is a huge money-maker and not just for tax dollars. It’s encouraging to see them spending it on more than just roads and bridges, but instead turning it back around to help schools and higher education for families that need it most.

Good work, Colorado!

Feature image via Wikimedia Commons and OddCulture