Colorado Voters Reject Plan to Increase Cannabis Taxes for Education Agency

Colorado voters rejected a proposal to raise cannabis taxes in the state as part of a plan to create an independent education agency.

Full story after the jump.

Colorado voters have rejected a proposal to raise taxes on adult-use cannabis in the state from 15% to 20% as part of a plan to create an independent education agency, Denver Business Journal reports. Proponents of the proposition conceded at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when polls showed 54% of voters had voted no on the plan.

With 86% of precincts reporting, the margin had not changed significantly, with 54.5% of voters rejecting the initiative and 45.5% in support, according to Ballotpedia tracking.

Opponents of the plan included teachers’ unions, the cannabis industry, and some anti-tax conservatives who argued that the measure would create a new bureaucracy that would possibly be unconstitutional.

Marijuana Industry Group Executive Director Truman Bradley said he was glad cannabis businesses “will not be footing the bill for new projects that provide no accountability or transparency to voters.”

“Tonight, Colorado voters made clear that they are not willing to raise taxes at the expense of cannabis patients and consumers for special interests that don’t benefit the majority of Coloradans.” Bradley via Denver Business Journal

The measure would have allocated $1,500 per student in aid that proponents said would help children’s education which was negatively impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Curtis Hubbard, Yes on Prop 119 spokesperson, said that the proposition’s defeat means education outcomes in the state “will likely continue to get worse before it gets better.”

“The significant gap in achievement between students from wealthy families and their low-income peers has been an unfortunate educational outcome in Colorado for years,” he said in a statement. “Access to affordable, quality after-school education services is not a possibility for many families living in Colorado and we will work with anyone who has a better idea on how to tackle the problem.”

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