By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– More than 200,000 voters in Colorado support an increase on the sales tax for recreational marijuana. They signed a petition to put Initiative 25 on the November ballot and those signatures were turned in on Friday.

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The measure asks for a 5% tax increase on recreational marijuana to help fund out-of-school education programs for low-income kids and those with special needs. Additional funding would come from royalties, rents and leases on state property. It has support from Democrats and Republicans.

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The current sales tax on recreational marijuana is 15%. If the measure passes, it would raise it to 20%.

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Initiative 25 is advocating that the increase in sales tax benefit the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress (LEAP). Supporters say the pandemic has caused a learning loss in students and that the LEAP program would offer opportunities to recover. The funding would cover anything from tutoring to college prep and other activities.

“The urgency for the LEAP initiative this year is to stop that gap, bridge that gap for our kids and make sure we’re meeting our needs particularly with our most low-income students with the resources they most need in an immediate way,” said one supporter.

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Other supporters believe this would bridge the education gap between different socio-economic students.

Jennifer McRae