Recent reports from the state of California show that a significant aspect of the state’s original marijuana legalization bill is not being respected. In particular, youth programs are currently not getting the desired funding that was stated in the original legislation.
Due to the rising concern on why this is occurring, specialists have recognized a few trends that could be leading to the issue. However, the people of California are anticipating that things will start moving in the right direction.
In November 2016, people in California voted in favor Proposition 64. The bill legalized the use of recreational marijuana in the state. Furthermore, as is usually the case with legalization bills, one of the main worries of the proposition was determining how the state will use tax revenues from marijuana sales.
Based on different uses, the goal of the state was to use a piece of cannabis taxes to fund youth programs. Particularly, youth programs targeting substance abuse education.
After the passing of Prop. 64 in 2016, the retail sale of recreational cannabis officially launched Jan. 1, 2018. Currently, the state has not succeeded to fund youth educational programs.
According to experts, there are two main reasons for this absence of funding. Firstly, the state’s methodology for using cannabis tax money makes these youth programs less significant than other programs.
According to California’s legal framework, there exists a multi-tiered system for determining who is more privileged to get tax revenue. As stated in this system, the high end of the funding is sent to startup costs and operational costs linked with state regulatory functions.
After that, programs like university research and California Highway Patrol funding comes in second place. That makes youth educational programs to take the third spot for tax revenue.
There is a possibility that this system might have no problems. However, experts are saying that it’s worrying because the state has not received enough cannabis tax revenue as forecasted.
Therefore, there are not enough funds in the bank for these youth programs. This means that youth programs have not received any funds yet.
Supporters of the education programs for youth substance abuse believe that things will change with time.
California’s fiscal year ends in June which means that there is still enough time for the state’s cannabis market to receive enough revenue to fund youth educational programs fully.
If the state receives enough funds by June, then things could become better in the next fiscal year. Experts are saying that California’s upcoming fiscal year could be a massive year for these programs.
State authorities are trying to fix other lingering issues that could adversely affect the way California spends marijuana tax money.
Presently, there are some worries concerning the language used to highlight tax spending rules. For instance, the word “youth” hasn’t been clearly defined. This could lead to uncertainty based on determining exactly what kind of educational programs would be prioritized for tax spending.
Also, there are other uncertain details. But officials are trying to explain the different aspects of its cannabis tax system.