Medical Marijuana Funds College Scholarships In ColoradoBy Khaleb Skye A. Cruz, UniversityHerald Reporter
Imagine if random people could help thousands of students whose families could barely afford to send them to school. Does it sound great? Well, in Colorado, the tax collected from legal marijuana helps fund college scholarships.
Now, the term "higher education" has two meanings. The governments of Pueblo and Adams counties are putting the proceeds on weed to make education cheaper. Interestingly, these might be the world's first cannabis-supported college scholarships. For the record, the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation will manage the funds.
According to a report from Medical Marijuana, Inc., senior high school students would be top priorities as long as they intend to continue college in the same county. The tax on weed is expected to generate over $475,000 of scholarship grants. Meanwhile, 23 educational institutions received $50,000 last year.
If it pushes through, qualified students will get around $1,000 in aid, per Times Higher Education. At the moment, the average number of Pueblo high school students who decide to attend college at the Colorado State University is at 300 to 400. Consequently, other people in the graduating class choose to go to the Pueblo Community College.
Typically, in-state tuition fee for the latter costs more than $3,000 per year. To be specific, $425,000 of the total fund will come from the local excise tax of cannabis. The remaining $49,664 will be given by the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.
Colorado passed Amendment 64 last November 6, 2012, which led to the legalization of the weed in January 2014. Since then, tax revenues have been invested in public education and mental health. Just last year, the state has collected $1.3 billion ($200 million tax) for both medical and recreational cannabis.
Other states with legal recreational weed, per News.mic, include Alaska, Oregon, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Washington. Twenty-seven states, on the other hand, agreed to decriminalize cannabis for medical purposes only. Some of these areas are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.