This week, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in conjunction with Governor John Hickenlooper’s office, formally requested that the General Assembly allocate more than $6 million annually from the state’s marijuana-tax cash fund for a new program that would offer help to chronic drug users as opposed to criminalizing them. Art Way, senior director for criminal-justice reform and Colorado director with the national Drug Policy Alliance, which worked closely with state agencies in crafting the proposal (it’s on view below), sees the impact of this approach as potentially revolutionary for those struggling with addictions to heroin and other heavy narcotics.
If approved, Way says, “marijuana tax revenue and marijuana legalization will fund broader drug-policy purposes and drug-policy concerns that have long had more of an impact on society, both from a human perspective and a fiscal perspective. We’re talking about other substances on which users become truly dependent, and people who are on the chaotic end of the use spectrum. So for marijuana legalization to fund this is a game-changer.”