During the 2012 campaign, marijuana opponents made the claim that if marijuana were legalized in Colorado there would be ten dollars in social costs for ever one dollar in tax revenue generated by marijuana sales. I don’t know that anyone has calculated the increased ‘social costs’ but I don’t know that anyone needs to in order to know that marijuana opponents’ claims never panned out. There’s overwhelming evidence that the ‘great cannabis experiment’ in Colorado is working out quite well. One recent example would be in Aurora, Colorado, where a million and a half dollars in marijuana sales tax revenue is being directed towards people that absolutely need it. Per the Aurora Sentinel:
At a special study session Feb. 29, council members gave initial approval to allocating $1.5 million for homeless services from the city’s 2017 and 2018 budgets. That’s in addition to the $1.5 million approved as part of this year’s budget. The money is coming from the city’s marijuana sales tax revenue.
“The Colfax Community Network is in extremely dire straits in that they do not have funds to continue operating,” said Nancy Sheffield, director of Aurora neighborhood services.
Ward I Councilwoman Sally Mounier, whose ward encompasses many of the motels that low-income families stay in on East Colfax Avenue, said the nonprofit needed to be funded “immediately.” CCN also provides provides homeless families staying in local motels with food, clothing, hygiene products and diapers.
I blogged several times about the need for the cannabis community to help out other causes in addition to helping end cannabis prohibition. The cannabis community has the ability to do big things because of the movement’s ability to fund raise, network, and spread awareness. This particular example from Aurora came about as a result of direct purchases of marijuana, and the taxes that were generated in the process. I’d love to see the cannabis community in Aurora step up even further and volunteer some time and do some fundraising to continue to help out the homeless above and beyond tax related funding. If you live in the area, I encourage you to step up!