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Can pot pay for K-12 education?

Revenues topped $1B, and are growing

Joe Wolf

Can pot save the day?

There’s a good reason education is always an issue in Washington State. It’s called out clearly in the state constitution;

“ARTICLE IX EDUCATION

SECTION 1 PREAMBLE.

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.“

The problem is, living up to that has been difficult enough for the state Legislature that the state Supreme Court fined them $100,000 per day until they fully fund education. Not an easy task.

Hello, marijuana legalization. The new industry is doing well. According to the Seattle PI,

“Revenue topped $1 billion in the two years after recreational marijuana sales began in July 2014.“

and

“The booming business has generated at least $250 million in revenue to the state, money that is controlled by the Legislature.“

And, the Legislature is now considering it. The concept isn’t new. Other states consider funding education with taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Why not pot?

A quarter million dollars doesn’t cover the budget estimate for fully funded education, that’s over four billion dollars, but the industry is growing and every hundred million dollars counts.

As much as Washington State residents enjoy fully funded education, smoking our way to it may be too much to ask; but at least the legislature is entertaining entertaining ideas.