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Prop 119: Voters reject marijuana sales tax hike for student enrichment programs

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DENVER (KDVR) — The campaign behind Proposition 119, which would have raised taxes on marijuana to fund student enrichment programs, has conceded defeat.

Backers of the proposition released a concession statement just after 8:30 p.m., when results showed more than 54% of voters rejected the measure.

“The significant gap in achievement between students from wealthy families and their low-income peers has been an unfortunate educational outcome in Colorado for years — and tonight’s results mean it will likely continue to get worse before it gets better,” Yes on Prop 119 spokesperson Curtis Hubbard said in the release. “Access to affordable, quality after-school education services is not a possibility for many families living in Colorado — and we will work with anyone who has a better idea on how to tackle the problem.”

The measure would have increased the recreational marijuana sales tax from 15% to 20% by 2024. It would have also used more than $20 million from the State Land Trust to fund the program.

Proponents touted the measure as a way to help students recover from pandemic learning losses through enrichment programs. Opponents argued against the tax increase, saying it would have only bolstered the black market for the plant.

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