Extra marijuana tax revenue will now allow about 50 Colorado schools to create anti-bullying programs, as well as health education programs.
Using so-called “sin” taxes for schools isn’t new. A sliver of gambling tax proceeds have paid for school construction in the past. But this marks the first year anti-bullying programs are being funded this way.
The state has about $66 million in surplus marijuana tax revenue. A $2.9 million slice will go to bully prevention. Some of it will also pay for other health education programs.
Schools that get the $40,000 grants can choose one of several evidenced-based programs, said grant coordinator Adam Collins at the Colorado Department of Education.
“There has been data to show that whenever that’s been implemented well, it affects the whole school culture, the school feels like a safer place, a warmer place, and somewhere where bullying can’t thrive,” he said.
Marijuana taxes make up about 1 percent of the $5.4 billion budget for Colorado's public schools.