With Labor Day weekend squarely in the rear-view mirror, teens across the nation are donning their freshest gear and getting ready to confront yet another school year. In Colorado, thousands of those kids will be met by new school employees paid for by legal weed.
According to the Denver Post, $9.2 million of the state’s recreational cannabis sales tax will go towards funding a massive overhaul of the state’s public school health and addiction awareness programs. The grant program will help alleviate a statewide school nurse shortage.
“We and other school health professionals are in a unique position in our schools in that we see these kids every day and we can educate, assess and assist them with substance abuse or behavioral health issues,” Rhonda Valdez, a full-time nurse hired with cannabis tax funds to serve Wheat Ridge High School, said. “We can help keep kids from walking through that door that can lead to bad things.”
The millions in child-wellness funding is being distributed by the Colorado Department of Education to 42 school districts and charter schools, with an emphasis on middle and high schools near cannabis dispensaries.