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Colorado made a lot of money off 4/20 — and that's good for schools

Marc Piscotty / Getty Images News

Colorado's marijuana sales continued trending up in April, and at least some of that can be attributed to the celebration of the stoner holiday 4/20.

The state's revenue for marijuana sales, a bulk of which comes from Denver, climbed from nearly $19 million in March to more than $22 million in April.


The gains can be in part attributed to 4/20

Some of this can be attributed to the first celebration of 4/20 since recreational sales began in Colorado., after all, reported that hotel searches were up 73 percent for the weekend of 4/20 compared to the same time period last year. So it stands to reason that tourists and residents alike brought in extra revenue through the celebrations.

But there's good reason to believe this increase could continue. For one, revenues from marijuana sales have been steadily rising all year.

As Ron Kammerzell, director of enforcement at the Colorado Department of Revenue, previously pointed out, there are still more than 100 recreational marijuana shops looking to open in Colorado — some of which are in cities and counties where marijuana isn't sold at all yet. As more local jurisdictions allow these shops to open, it stands to reason that revenue will increase.

A lot of the tax revenue will go to schools

By voter rule, $40 million of the tax revenue raised through marijuana sales is required to go to schools. The Colorado Department of Revenue estimates that about $1.9 million of the $40 million has been raised so far.

In total, the state has netted more than $11 million from recreational pot alone.

The large gathering of stoners came and went without public safety issues

At the same time, it seems like the massive gathering of pot enthusiasts occurred with little to no public safety debacles. Unlike the 2013 celebration that was tragically marked by a shooting, there were no reports of major problems at this year's 4/20 celebrations.

Violent crime rates, in fact, continued trending down in Denver throughout April, as Vox previously reported.


Property crime rates dropped as well.


As other states watch Colorado's marijuana legalization experiment, these are the kind of numbers legalization supporters want to see. Not only is the state making money off a once-taboo drug, but it seems to be doing so with few problems.

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