Marijuana and Colorado Springs cops: Should dispensary taxes be used to fund police?
One of the main arguments for the marijuana-legalization measure that Californians will vote on today is the tax revenue that legal pot would bring to struggling communities -- ones like Colorado Springs, which may launch a police squad funded by a new pot of pot money
While the community is seen as one of the most conservative around (and, true to form, El Paso County, in which the city is based, will be voting on whether to ban dispensaries outright in the November 2 election), so far Colorado Springs has been downright liberal in spending the $50,000 a month sales tax revenue it's been collecting from MMJ businesses. A perfect example: The city council may launch a new police unit funded solely through medical marijuana money -- one dedicated to policing the marijuana industry.
The development of a pot-fueled police force seems like a no-brainer. After all, what better way to use MMJ revenue than to monitor the MMJ industry itself? If approved as part of Colorado Springs' 2011 budget, the unit would involve three detectives and a code-enforcement officer dedicated to making sure the municipality's dispensaries, now officially called medical marijuana centers, are up to snuff. Hard to imagine many people would oppose the move, although we expect such forward-thinking concepts to emerge from the People's Republic of Boulder, not ground zero for Focus on the Family.
And as long as dispensary sales are going to bankroll the squad, maybe its official name should reflect that. How about Kush's Keystone Kops?
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana lawsuit: Jessica Corry on why dispensary ban shouldn't be on El Paso ballot."