The legalization of cannabis in four states and the District of Columbia has been a game changer. Jobs have been created. Tax revenues have been bolstered. People have gotten very, very high without fear of being incarcerated in one of America’s subpar penal institutions. We are now starting to see the real community benefits coming to the people in states that have created a recreational industry around cannabis.
Aurora (Colorado’s third largest city) has had a devastating homelessness situation for the last decade or so. The city is about to bank $4.5 million in cannabis revenue in the next two years. To put that into perspective, Aurora netted $40,000 in cannabis tax revenue in 2014. Now they’re gonna make it rain.
Aurora plans to spend $1.5 million on the homeless. The city will spread this money around various non-profit groups and 17 homeless shelters in the city. The Colfax Community Network, which helps at risk families living in hotels with education, food, hygiene products, and even diapers, will receive $200,000 to save them from folding. The Comitis Crisis Center and Aurora Mental Health will also receive a good share of the tax revenue to set up vans around the city to help the homeless get information and access to the care and refuge they desperately need. Another $680,000 will be set aside by the city to bolster various non-profits around the city which feed, house and generally help the homeless population. Aurora will spend another $2 million from the revenue in building a new community recreation center in the southeast of their city. This all seems pretty win-win.
When we fought for the legalization of cannabis, this was the best argument besides personal liberty. We are now seeing the benefits of what positive tax revenues can do directly to a community. Time to start legalizing nationally. And it’s time to start releasing cannabis farmers and users from our state and federal prison systems.
Until then, every time you buy legal weed in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, or the District of Columbia, you know you’ll be helping the local community and not lining murderous Mexican Cartel pockets.
So, please, inhale responsibly.
(Via the Huffington Post)