You are hereThe Campaign to Regulate Marijuana succeeds, for now.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana succeeds, for now.
After collecting nearly 170,000 signatures, the campaign behind regulating recreational marijuana like alcohol finalized a ballot initiative for this fall’s election. The initiative would regulate sales of recreational marijuana to Colorado residents and give voters a chance to change the state’s constitution.
Amendment 64 would allow taxed marijuana sales to any adult age 21 and older. Adults could possess up to one once of marijuana without any criminal charge. The amendment emphasizes a strong interest in public safety and using resources like law enforcement in an efficient manor.
Many have argued that a regulated environment of marijuana would put more drugs in the hands of youth.
Colorado State Attorney General John W. Suthers says, “we are buying ourselves serious drug problems for future generations.”
But Betty Aldworth, Advocacy Director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, disagrees.
“ There is no evidence, except for disputed anecdotal accounts, that a regulated system puts more marijuana in the hands of the youth; it simply doesn’t.” says Aldworth.
Aldworth explains that this regulated model may actually benefit the youth.
Tax revenue from a regulated marijuana system in Colorado would generate at least 50 million dollars a year. And each year the first $40 million would go to the B.E.S.T program. The program, “Building Excellent Schools Today,” will help a state in serious need of educational funding.
Colorado has cut $1 billion dollars from K-12 education since the 2009-2010 school year. Many districts have supplemented the cuts from reserves or raising taxes, but not all districts have the same options.
The B.E.S.T program began in 2008 and gives grants to schools all over the state. Districts must apply for funding based on need, but the program gave nearly $674
million over the past three years.
The program has made a difference for 238 school facilities and changed the educational experience for over 93,000 students in Colorado.
Colorado is 49th in the country for funding education. So the state may be well-positioned to take advantage of the extra revenue from taxed marijuana sales.
No initiative of this kind has ever made it at a state level. California had Proposition 19 back in 2010, but it failed to pass. However, this isn’t the first time Colorado went up against federal law.
Eighty years ago, under alcohol prohibition, Colorado was one of the first states to repeal amendment 18. Colorado repealed with Amendment 21 six months before the federal government revoked prohibition nationwide.