Just about every cannabis opponent uses the ‘what about the children?’ argument when they are at speaking engagements or are providing quotes in the media about cannabis. Cannabis supporters also use arguments that involve a children angle. But instead of describing a doomsday scenario like cannabis opponents, supporters point out that regulating cannabis prevents kids from accessing cannabis, unlike the black market.
Another argument that cannabis supporters use involves cannabis taxes and schools. Schools are hurting for funding, and taxes that are generated from a legal, regulated cannabis industry can help with that problem. This is already happening in Colorado. Per The Denver Post:
The state Department of Education’s program to fund capital projects — known as Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST, grants — had received more than $1.1 million from marijuana taxes in May when it made the annual award recommendations.
The state also is readying another $2.5 million from pot taxes so interested schools can hire health professionals.
The additional capital project money has been welcomed as the state fund for the BEST grants has been declining and the program reached a cap for the financed grants it could issue through bonds.
Just as cannabis taxes are helping schools in Colorado, so too will cannabis taxes help schools in Washington now that sales are legal there. If Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. legalize cannabis this November, schools in those areas will also benefit from cannabis tax revenues. Every state needs more funding for schools, and they should let the cannabis industry help. It’s time all states took a new approach.