Community Issues

Proceeds From Pot Help to Weed Out Bullies

Rural Colorado town uses marijuana money to fund student education program

People in the small, rural town of Lamar, Colorado may have had concerns when the state became the first to legalize use of recreational marijuana in 2014. But many of the approximately 7000 residents have come around after seeing what kinds of good things are being done with sales tax money collected from pot sales.

Lamar Middle School holds an anti-bullying kick-off cookout at the beginning of the school year Lamar Middle School Facebook Page

The Lamar School District applied for and received a three-year, $100,000+ grant for a new classroom-based anti-bullying program that teaches what bullying looks like and gives students K-12 tactics to combat it.

CBS This Morning visited Lamar's Parkview Elementary School to see how it works. That's a shot from their story above. Principal Aron Jones admitted even he has been surprised to see the good that can be done with marijuana revenue. "I never thought I would see the day when marijuana money would fund programs in education." Jones says he's had no push-back from the community about using pot proceeds to fund student programs. Lamar does not allow marijuana sales.

"I think it means the world. If kids don't feel safe they're they're not going to learn. They're not going to achieve." Aron Jones, Principal Parkview Elementary School

The school says the anti-bullying program has cut bullying in the district by 23%. CBS interviewed one boy, Parker Daniel, who says he was picked on for his accent when he moved to Lamar from California. A group of fellow students used the "strength in numbers" concept they learned from their training to stick up for Parker as a group. "Now I feel like I fit in," he said.

Lamar Middle School anti-bullying kick-off. The district also sponsors an anti-bullying 5K to raise awareness and money for student programs. Lamar Middle School Facebook Page

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