New Pot Tax Will Fund College Scholarships

Voters approved this one by 60% to 40% margin
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2015 7:34 PM CST
New Pot Tax Will Fund College Scholarships
A young man smokes a marijuana cigarette at a park where people gathered to mark the First Worldwide March for Regulated Marijuana in Montevideo, Uruguay, Saturday, May 3, 2014.    (AP Photo/Matilde Campondonico)

Pot lovers in one Colorado county will soon be getting high for higher education. With a 60% majority, voters in Pueblo County voted on Tuesday to phase in a tax on marijuana growers that will support college scholarships and other endeavors, WTKR reports. The tax will begin in 2017, hit 5% by 2020, and should raise $3.5 million—half of which is slated for scholarships to one of two colleges, reports Reuters. "The whole point of the scholarship program was to make higher education a reality for families who can’t afford to send their kids to school because of debt," says Pueblo County spokesperson Paris Carmichael.

Students will be able to follow any field of study at Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo, and all high school graduates in the county can apply. "There are some scholarships that come out of the legal marijuana industry but our preliminary research showed that this is the first to come from tax revenue," says Carmichael. The other half of the tax haul will go to various projects, including medical marijuana research, fixing up an old courthouse, and hiking trail and road improvements. The ballot was the third in four years to allocate marijuana taxes, the Denver Post reports; each of the previous two approved $40 million for construction of schools. (More Colorado stories.)

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