Officials in the city of Aurora, Colorado say they will be directing some of the tax revenue from recreational marijuana toward programs designed to help the homeless.
In all about $1.5 million in revenues will be used for homeless programs, including some money to local groups to buy vans for homeless outreach as well as $200,000 to a nonprofit organization that assists homeless people living in hotels.
In addition to the $1.5 million to the homeless, another $680,000 is going to various non-profits in the city.
“We wanted to be able to show citizens that we are having a positive impact on the community and point to specific projects or initiatives to where that money is going to,” said Bob Roth, an Aurora city councilman.
While I’m not a fan of marijuana being taxed in the first place, it’s going to be and stories like this are great publicity for cannabis legalization. Now when people see some sort of legalization measure on the ballot they may think back to hearing about pot tax revenue being used to help homeless people. This leads to more legalization and more tax revenue.
The unfortunate fact is that there are not enough regular cannabis users in the U.S. to even come close to passing a ballot measure in any state. We need the people who don’t use cannabis but are swayed by something like tax revenue; the soccer moms and the hockey dads, the people who know weed isn’t going to destroy their children’s lives (unless they get caught with it) and who are looking for reasons to vote in favor of legalization.
Of course taxes need to be kept low to keep prices down and undercut the black market, but their existence can be used to our advantage.