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Colorado to start spending marijuana taxes

By: Associated Press
April 8, 2014 Updated: April 8, 2014 at 10:42 am
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photo - In this Jan. 1, 2014, file photo, employees  Chris Broussard, left, and David Marlow, work behind sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver. Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday, March 10, 2014, in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
In this Jan. 1, 2014, file photo, employees Chris Broussard, left, and David Marlow, work behind sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver. Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday, March 10, 2014, in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File) 

DENVER — After months of uncertainty about marijuana and its tax potential, Colorado lawmakers start work Tuesday deciding how to spend pot taxes.

Voters have already decided to spend the first $40 million on school construction, but anything beyond that is up to lawmakers to appropriate.

Estimates vary widely on how much tax money Colorado will receive from recreational marijuana sales, which just started in January. But legislators should have at least $25 million to spend, with the likely winners to be youth drug-prevention programs and efforts to reduce stoned driving.

The legislative Joint Budget Committee meets Tuesday to review a proposal from the governor on spending the money. The governor has said the top priority should be reducing any negative impacts from legalization on children.

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