POLITICS
11/14/2014 05:17 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

Colorado Is Using Revenue From Pot Sales To Hire More School Nurses

Seth McConnell via Getty Images

Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana could actually help improve the health of local students.

The state awarded nearly a million dollars' worth of grants to schools throughout the state this week, reports The Denver Post. The grant money will be used by schools to hire health professionals such as nurses, psychologists and counselors and it's composed of funds from marijuana tax revenue.

The more than $975,000 of grants handed out this week is part of a larger fund of $2.5 million created by the state legislature for schools to hire health professionals, says the outlet. The window for schools to apply for the rest of the funds closed last week.

Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana in 2012, and shops began selling it to adults 21 or older in January.

Overall, a great deal of tax revenue generated by marijuana sales will help public schools in the state. In August, Education Week reported that more than $1 million of pot revenue is being used to help schools fund construction projects.

With the implementation of the law, the effect that marijuana legalization has on teenage drug use has been debated. While previous data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated that teens were not more likely to use marijuana in states where it was legalized for medical uses, another survey shows that teens’ attitudes toward the drug have relaxed in recent years.

A recent report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice also found that in California the school dropout and drug overdose rate decreased after the state decriminalized marijuana.

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