The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol launched a new digital ad Tuesday that calls out opponents of Prop. 205 for continuing to run deceptive ads that claim taxing marijuana in Colorado has not raised any money for schools. The ad can be viewed below or at http://bit.ly/2dZyUc0.
The ad begins by noting, “The pharmaceutical and prison industries are spending big money to claim that no marijuana taxes in Colorado are funding public schools.” The committee opposing Prop. 205, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP), received major contributions last month from the makers of a dangerous opioid painkiller and a company whose subsidiary prepares meals for correctional facilities.
“Yet millions of marijuana tax dollars are paying for a third of this school’s construction in Glenwood Springs, Colorado,” the ad says, while displaying a photo of a construction project taking place earlier this year at Glenwood Springs Elementary School. It was partially funded with a $9.1 million grant from the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) public school construction program, which has received nearly $115 million in marijuana tax revenues.
“Colorado really is taxing marijuana to fund public schools,” the ad says, as it shows an image of a document prepared by Colorado Legislative Council Staff that details the legislature’s distribution of marijuana tax revenues. It is one of the official state documents that three Colorado legislators sent to leaders of ARDP on Monday along with an email asking them to stop running ads that include “misleading and inaccurate” statements about Colorado schools not receiving any money from marijuana taxes. The documents confirm that more than $138 million in marijuana tax revenues has been distributed to the Colorado Department of Education, including millions of dollars for school heath professionals, dropout prevention efforts, and anti-bullying programs in addition to the funds for school construction. The legislators’ letter, including a link to the documents, is available at http://bit.ly/2ex9peJ.
The Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimates Prop. 205 will raise more than $123 million in total annual revenue for the state, including more than $55 million per year for schools.