DRUGS

Colorado To Use Millions In Marijuana Revenue To Fight School Bullying

Flush with cannabis cash, the state plans to spend $3 million to fund anti-bullying initiatives

EPA
Sep 29, 2016 at 12:14 PM ET

A surge in surplus marijuana tax revenue in Colorado will soon pour into public schools to fund anti-bullying initiatives.

Flush with cannabis cash, the state plans to distribute nearly $3 million to the Colorado Department of Education for the programs, television station Denver7 reports. Around 50 schools will receive grants aimed at bullying prevention.

“As far as we know, we’re the only state that is providing such significant funds to prevent bullying in schools,” Dr. Adam Collins of the CDE said in an interview. “We are excited to have these funds.”

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Proponents of legalized pot have long argued that tax revenues from its sale would be a boon to cash-strapped states. Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes in fees in 2015. In June, the state’s Pueblo County set aside around $750,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors — all from marijuana excise taxes.

The $2.9 million earmarked to fight school bullying is from a $66 million surplus of weed revenue, according to reports. Grants, which will be as high as $40,000 per school, will go toward specialized training from a bully prevention coach.

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Schools across the U.S. continue to struggle with ways to combat bullying and harassment, which has taken on new dimensions thanks to student use of social media. Last year, Colorado named a cyberbullying law after a Highland Ranch teen who attempted suicide over hateful text messages. The girl, Kiana Arellano, is now paraplegic and unable to speak.

News of the Colorado’s anti-bullying grants comes just days after a viral video showed a Commerce City student relentlessly harassed by a peer while waiting for a bus.