Colorado and Cannabis Taxation
Since legalization nearly four years ago, the state of Colorado has seen an increase each year in tax revenue gained from cannabis sales. The state made nearly $70 million in June 2016, the completion of the last financial year. Revenue gained through taxation was one of the key arguments for legalizing weed.
Taxes gained from cannabis is making it more appealing for other states to follow in Colorado’s footsteps. With the state of Colorado making so much extra money each year, they have decided to make a positive impact on the less fortunate. The city of Aurora is using their extra revenue to find homes for the homeless.
Taxation Money Helps Find Homes for the Homeless
Aurora is the third largest city in Colorado and will be using over a third of the $4.5 million gained through the ‘weed tax’ to support local non-profit homeless organizations.
Over the course of the next three years, a total of over $3 million will be given to a series of groups across the city, all of which provide hostels and food for the homeless community. The money will be paid out over the next three years, with $1.5 million promised before the end of the current financial year in June 2017.
Additionally, money has also been given to Comitis Crisis Center and Aurora Mental Health for each organization to buy a van and hire two care workers. This decision allows them to access homeless individuals who can’t reach their walk-in centers because of lack of funds for public transport.
One Aurora Housing Association will receive $45,000 to pay the salary of their landlord coordinator to allow them to work the role full-time. The job is vital to ensure the cycle of homelessness doesn’t continue, as landlords will often reject the applications of the formerly homeless. Alongside, these confirmed financial pledges the city is considering building and staffing a series of day centers across the city for homeless people to wash their clothes, receive mental health support and shower.
Cannabis Has A Positive Impact on Society
Cannabis has been shown to restore happiness, positive mood, and overall health and well being. It reverses depression and stress and includes powerful medical benefits such as treating inflammation, anxiety, physical pain, seizures, and even nausea and vomiting. CBD has been proven to minimize the symptoms of dementia, depression, and even cancer.
And if the long list of medicinal benefits cannabis provides wasn’t enough:
Cannabis is a booming cash crop and with over 1000 homeless people on the streets of Aurora, this project shows how marijuana can benefit, rather than damage, the local community.
City Councilman Bob Roth believes it shows the people of Aurora the influence that local government can have. ‘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.’
$220,000 has been given to the Colfax Community Network to support their operating costs. The money ensures that Colfax can continue their work, with further funds likely to be sent their way over the next two years.
As of now, not all of the money has been pledged to specific projects as the city is still working on the full list of projects that they wish to back.
State Involvement and Victimless Crimes
Small changes are being made and legalization is sweeping the world. However, issues with detainment will still be present due to regulations, permits, and amount restrictions. Meaning, unwarranted raids and arrests will still be made on farmers and users trying to make a living or simply for using their medicine of choice.
As someone who truly believes taxation is theft, I want to see the money in the hands of the community, who would band together for causes such as finding homes for the homeless, without interference from the state.