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November 29, 2017

Part 3: Other Ways Marijuana Tax Money Is Used to Support Colorado Youth

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) receives a significant amount of money from the Marijuana Cash Tax fund.  This funding is used to inform youth of the impacts of early marijuana use through public service campaigns such as the Protect What’s Next and Askable Adults Colorado campaigns.  

Additionally, programs such as Communities That Care are being implemented all over the state.  The “CDPHE received funding from the marijuana tax cash fund to support substance abuse prevention among youth using the Communities That Care across Colorado. Communities That Care is a community-based prevention model that was evaluated across the country with significant results, including preventing youth substance use initiation and youth crime and violence.  This model helps local communities assess the specific risk and protective factors among the youth in their communities.”

This proven program received approximately $9 million in funding from the Marijuana Cash Tax fund for the 2017–18 year to provide services to 48 Colorado communities.  To see if your community is benefiting from this program, click here.

Youth all over Colorado are exposed to programs that are funded by marijuana tax dollars.  In fact, it is hard to find a community in Colorado that is not using a program that utilizes marijuana tax dollars.  MEI was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at the Colorado Department of Education School Health Professional Grant Kickoff on September 26 and 27 in Denver.  More than two hundred Colorado Health Professional grant recipients attended this event, where health professionals could attend informational sessions and gather resources about programs and curricula they can use to support their schools and students.  We asked some of the health professionals how this opportunity was affecting their schools.  Here’s how the grants are working:

·         Improving their ability to implement needed programming

·         Providing education in specific areas

·         Providing education to students as well as parents

·         Providing more support and education to students/families

·         Encouraging conversations

·         Funding more staff

·         Providing money for programming and resources

·         Providing funding and programming for the most vulnerable student populations

Colorado has come a long way since the early days of recreational marijuana legalization, and it can be difficult to untangle the financial web that marijuana revenue creates.  MEI seeks to inform on all things related to marijuana, including the programs and youth that benefit from the money that Colorado receives from marijuana tax. Navigating post-legalization bureaucratic waters is not easy to do, but if we all remain vigilant and active in youth education—and knowing where our tax dollars go— Colorado’s future will continue to look brighter and brighter.