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The FBI Unknowingly Honored a Denver Youth Program Partially Funded by Legal Weed Taxes

The local FBI office gave an award to Youth on Record without realizing the group is running on money from local cannabis taxes.

by Zach Harris

Denver's FBI field office held an event earlier this week to award and recognize Youth on Record, a high school dropout prevention program, for their service to the community and success in keeping kids in school. What those officers apparently didn’t know though, is that a significant part of Youth on Record’s funding comes directly from the taxes collected by Colorado’s recreational cannabis industry.

According to The Cannabist, Youth on Record’s executive director Jami Duffy mentioned the cannabis taxes while she accepted the honors at the local FBI field office.

“If anybody asks you where that money is going, you can say, ‘I know for sure that some of it is going to Youth on Record and the 1,000 teenagers that they serve,'” Duffy said.

A portion of Colorado’s cannabis taxes are required to go to public schools, and it turns out, they’re not talking chump change. Colorado brought in almost $200 million in cannabis taxes last year, and in her speech at the FBI office, Duffy said that Youth on Record received $78,000 from that chunk, and that the music-focused after-school program is expecting an additional $148,000 from Colorado’s cannabis industry this year.

Colorado’s cannabis taxes also go towards youth programs like The 4-H Club and The Future Farmers of America. When asked about the cannabis taxes that are helping to fund the Youth on Record, an FBI spokeswoman instead pointed out the other corporate sponsors that make up the rest of Youth on Record’s funding.

Youth on Record won the FBI award after a vote by employees at the local field office.

While the federal government hurls threats at recreational cannabis industries, it would do Jeff Sessions, Sean Spicer and the rest of the Trump administration well to take a look at Youth on Record and see what recreational marijuana legalization is actually doing to help communities around the country.


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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