With the Colorado legislature just weeks away from determining how they plan to budget the $184 million in marijuana tax revenue, state law enforcement agencies have emerged on bended knee to panhandle the administration for an increase in funds to bust lawless stoners.
According to reports, police chiefs across Colorado say their departments are in desperate need of a larger piece of the state’s pot tax revenue to assist them in effectively controlling the myriad of challenges recreational marijuana has reigned down.
“Some of the drains from some of our cities across the state are that they’ve re-diverted personnel to deal with compliance issues,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson told CBS Denver.
In a recent letter to Governor John Hickenlooper, Jackson, along with several other Colorado police chiefs, pleaded with the administration for a 10 to 15 percent increase in funds to be used to train officers, as well as bring the hammer down on stoned drivers, illegal grow operations and traffickers.
“We’d like to see training include things for field sobriety impairment testing all the way down to how do we comply with Amendments 20 and 64,” said Jackson.
Governor Hickenlooper announced last month his personal recommendations for Colorado’s marijuana tax revenue, which in the grand scheme of his proposal was a blatant slap in the face to the state’s law enforcement. The governor wants to allocate $45.5 million of the stoner tax to be used in anti-marijuana campaigns, while only shelling out somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million for law enforcement.
Some state lawmakers say they believe an increase in police funding from state marijuana taxes is not a bad idea. “One reason I worked on the marijuana tax bill and introduced it was to keep this drug out of the hands of kids, criminals and the cartels,” said Representative Jonathan Singer.
The state legislature has the final say on how pot taxes will be distributed.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.