Denver $2B budget plan uses marijuana money for transportation, community projects

Excess marijuana tax proceeds would provide $10 million for transportation projects, park and recreation center fixes, and a new “community budgeting” program next year under a $2 billion budget proposal unveiled Tuesday by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

As Denver draws on money flowing in from legalized recreational marijuana, the city in 2018 also would more directly confront the opioid crisis that has affected communities across the country. Hancock’s proposal includes more than $1 million for new and expanded support services that address addiction to heroin, pain relievers and synthetic drugs.

Hancock’s 2018 budget proposal, which now goes to the City Council for consideration and a vote by early November, is notable for several increases in spending that the mayor and council members have laid out previously to tackle the side effects of Denver’s rapid population growth.

It calls for a $31.5 million increase in spending on transportation and mobility, or more than 40…

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