Text books and an electronic tablet sit on a desk inside of a school class room.

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Aspen, Colorado School District Spend Cannabis Tax Money on Student-Focused Social Worker

The Aspen, Colorado School District has been granted $250,000 from the state’s cannabis taxes to employ an on-campus social worker for the next three years, the Aspen Times reports. The social worker will deal with both students and staff in pre-K through eighth grades, and some high school students.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Heald said it’s important for younger students to have contact with a social worker to help them deal with social pressures such as self-management, relationship skills, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making skills. Additionally, he said, for kids making the transition to high school it’s imperative that students understand the risks associated with drug and alcohol use.

“On the high school level we’d be more focused on intervention because there are some kids who may already have some involvement (in substances) and made some behavior choices around their use,” Heald said in the report,

Some cannabis tax money in the state has been earmarked for public schools, and last year was the first time schools received the full $40 million touted by activists during the legalization push. The Colorado Department of Education has also offered $40,000 in grants per school year derived from cannabis taxes for anti-bullying programs.

According to a 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, cannabis use among Coloradans aged 12 to 17 dropped about 12 percent since legal cannabis sales commenced.

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