Higher education now has a whole new meaning thanks to two communities in Colorado. As it turns out, Pueblo and Adams County are taking weed tax proceeds and putting them into university scholarships that support cannabis. In fact, the 2% excise tax on pot growing in Pueblo County is expected to generate close to $500,000 for scholarships that’ll go to student’s who are graduating from high school this spring. Each student is guaranteed to qualify for $1,000 to attend college. All they have to do is fill out an application.
Colorado is one of the increasing numbers of states that have legalized the herb for recreational use. At this time, there are two communities in the state that are taking the proceeds from weed taxes and putting them into the world’s first university scholarships that support cannabis.
Thanks to Pueblo and Adams County, higher education is getting a whole new meaning. According to Sal Pace, the commissioner of Pueblo County, taxes on alcohol sales and the lottery are supporting most scholarships in the US. However, with these cannabis-supporting scholarships, you at least get what you pay for, he says.
The 2% excise tax on pot growing in Pueblo County is expected to generate close to $500,000 for scholarships that’ll go to student’s who are graduating from high school this spring. That’s ten times more than the country was able to provide last year in scholarship assistance.
Now, each graduate can qualify to earn $1,000 towards a local two-year community college. Or, they can choose to attend Pueblo’s four-year Colorado State University in the fall. All they need to do is fill out an application.
If you accept the aid, then you are guaranteed a scholarship. But this also means you must approve the source that’s providing the money,
You are guaranteed a scholarship. If you have your own moral objections, you can forgo the money.
While the community college charges roughly $3,000 a year, the four-year university requires $6,000. 44% of students in the county’s schools have families who make 30 per cent and 85 per cent above the poverty rate.
With that said, it’s hard to be able to afford college at all. But officials are expecting the local excise tax to produce $3.5 million a year by 2020. Half of that income will go towards scholarships to help students further their education.
Last year, Colorado sold roughly $1 billion worth of recreational weed. As a result, the state generated a total of $122 million in sales and excise tax revenue.
At one time, that money would have gone to dealers or drug cartels. But now, it can go to higher education.
The opportunity for higher education is so critically important. We need to make it easier for people to afford and go to college. – Pace
Despite the county’s authority to impose a sales tax on a single product being challenged in court, officials say the scholarships will continue to be handed out.