The upside of legalizing weed? You can tax the stuff and then use that revenue to fund scholarships. That is what Colorado is doing — one of four states (plus the District of Colombia) that has legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use. Aurora, Colorado is already using its weed tax revenue to help fights its homelessness problem. Now another part of the state is following suit for students who want to go on to higher education.
Complex is reporting on a press release from the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, announcing a scholarship contest for Pueblo County, Colorado. The press release refers to this opportunity as the “world’s first marijuana tax-funded scholarship program.” Applications were open until April 29, with 25 lucky applicants getting $1000 each for the next academic year later in May.
Pueblo County officials are marveling at the fact that they can fund this scholarship in the first place using legalized marijuana tax revenue, which county voters approved in 2014 according to Russia Today. In the press release, the Pueblo County commissioner praises the opportunity to help low income students go to college. “College debt has surpassed even credit card debt in America,” he says.
Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation Executive Director Beverly Duran says that this scholarship fund will serve more students than ever before, telling USA Today: “Every year we get a nice pool of students … but we can always only award to a small percentage. This for us expands that to extraordinary lengths.”
Marijuana tax revenue hasn’t only allowed Colorado municipalities to alleviate homelessness and send kids to college. SF Gate reports that because the excess money ($120 million a year, to be exact) has gone towards a variety of public services, like schools and playgrounds, even changing the mind of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper as to the efficacy of legalizing weed.