Cannabis to Fund Schools in Oregon

Dec. 31 begins the first day of Colorado’s new law which legalizes marijuana for recreational use.  In its first year, estimated revenues for businesses are expected to reach $578 million, yielding $67 million in tax revenue.  A large portion of that money will be going to fund education inColorado, as well as the building of new schools.

Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue, according to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly. Wholesale transactions taxed at 15 percent will finance school construction, while the retail levy of 10 percent will fundregulation of the industry. – Bloomberg

For years, the Federal government’s ‘War on Drugs’ has been a complete disaster, helping to not only increase drug use across the board in America, but it has also increase the amount of citizens incarcerated for low-level crimes.  This, after having spent more than $1 trillion on fighting the ideological conflict.

There are many theories as to why the government chose to attack marijuana use with such vigor, but most often, the answer lies in Big Pharma and the medicinal lobby’s which ensured the pain relief and healing effects of marijuana were not accessible to the public.

As with any drug such as alcohol or caffeine, their effects are different for different people.  Some drinkers of alcoholic beverages may be able to consume heavily without any real detriment to their personalities, organs, or weight, while others, such as Native Americans, will experience devastating consequences due to their genetic pre-disposition to alcoholic sugars.  This disparity negates the generalized view that marijuana use causes all users to succumb to a myriad of physiological and psychological effects.

Marijuana and hemp are natural plants which have been used in cultures around the world for thousands of years.  And it was only in the 1920′s and 30′s that Federal agencies began propaganda campaigns against its use, both as a racial stigma against Hispanics and as a way to deceive the public on its medicinal benefits.

It is ironic that like the lottery, Colorado is choosing to use tax proceeds from the sale of a vice tofund schools and education.  But in the end, government agencies usually retract their moral stances on a given issue if there is money to be made, and their budgets become lean in times of recession.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Friday evenings giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.


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