The Colorado TABOR Cannabis Refund Measure, otherwise known as Prop BB, passed with flying colors; in fact, by a two to one margin. Colorado voters had a choice between receiving excess marijuana tax revenue and putting it in their own pockets or letting the state government divvy up the funds for a number of collectively beneficial programs. The voters overwhelmingly chose the ladder by voting yes, which made no sense to those who lobbied against and opposed the proposition by way of shady tactics and outright selfishness.
If the prop somehow managed to fail, Colorado taxpayers would have received $25 million to divide amongst themselves while the remaining $35 million would be reimbursed to growers, vendors, and distributors of cannabis across the state. Instead, the voters opted to have their elected officials invest in educational facilities and youth programs designed to benefit the general welfare of the state.
Clearly a left-right issue, the state’s anti-government, anti-taxation GOP tea-baggers couldn’t possibly understand how the taxpayers wouldn’t want to have the extra money back in their pockets, totaling approximately $6 to $16 dollars per person and in some cases, a whopping $32 dollars: big money indeed for their money-grubbing republican base. Their campaign strategy included multiple warnings to taxpayers that the money would be put back into the hands of bureaucrats and politicians who would steal these sizable refund checks from hard working Coloradans. They also decided to travel down the slippery slope of supposed future tax increases, which obviously didn’t fly with the educated voting public.
While the minority nay-saying population may be crying a river of tears and suffering the agony of defeat, the state has already declared how the additional funds will be allotted thru state programs.
• $2.5 million will be used for cannabis education and early prevention efforts
• $2 million shall be invested in bullying prevention programs
• $2 million to help minimize or eradicate school dropout rates
• $2 million allotted towards youth mentoring programs and services
• $1 million towards poison control services (a one-time grant)
• $1 million will be invested in cannabis impact programs for local governments
• $500,000 will focus on addiction screening and intervention
• $500,000 for treating substance abuse
• $300,000 to be put aside for Future Farmers of America and 4-H youth programs
at the Colorado State Fair
• $200,000 towards impaired driving education courses for law enforcement
• The remaining $14 million will be set aside for discretionary funding
Herein lies the difference; the collectivist mindset promotes what’s best for all citizens of the state while the individualistic approach will only result in minimal monetary self promotion for the few. The resounding victory regarding Prop BB is not only a slap in the face to the conservative base; it also sends a clear message that selfishness will no longer be tolerated, especially when dealing with the party of hell no.
Back in 2013, Prop AA in Colorado initially passed with flying colors and produced the same results concerning excess tax revenue generated from the sale of cannabis. The voters rejected the $7.63 individual refund and let their elected officials invest in the future of the state. The GOP in Colorado will likely concede again in 2016 if they dare decide to campaign against it.