East Lansing Directing Marijuana Tax Revenue To Help People Struggling With Drug Abuse
The City of East Lansing is directing money made from Michigan's marijuana tax into resources for people struggling with drug abuse.
Michigan has a 10% excise tax on recreational cannabis sales, and 15% of that revenue goes to the cities where cannabis stores are based.
38 cities, seven villages, 21 townships and 38 counties began receiving payments March 4, 2021 from the Marihuana Regulation Fund for every licensed retail store and microbusiness within its jurisdiction.
The East Lansing City Council plans to distribute the first $14,000 dollars of its marijuana tax revenue to help people who do not qualify for drug treatment courts.
The court aims to help people break the cycle of addiction by putting them through drug testing and supervised treatment.
The funds will pay for things like counseling and drug tests that people may not be able to afford. Mayor Aaron Stephens says his priority is helping people who don't meet the low-income threshold but are still struggling to make ends meet.
"The best part about utilizing city funds for this is that we don't have to follow that type of requirement and say, well, it has to be below this income level. We can just kind of give the free rein to say, if you believe that somebody is struggling in this situation, and they can't afford it, you can utilize these funds.”
Stephens says the next step is to look at how the marijuana tax fund may help people of color beyond drug addiction.