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Half of Alaska marijuana tax would fund programs to reduce recidivism under bill revision

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: July 7, 2016
  • Published April 7, 2016

The Alaska Legislature is proposing to use half of the state's marijuana excise tax proceeds to fund programs aimed at reducing the number of repeat criminal offenders.

Sen. John Coghill is the sponsor of the newest version of Senate Bill 91, the omnibus criminal law and procedure bill reintroduced Tuesday morning. Fifty percent of state marijuana excise taxes would be channeled to a newly created recidivism reduction fund for programs treating substance abuse, behavioral health and domestic violence.

The fiscal note assumes $3 million in marijuana taxes collected in fiscal year 2017 and $6 million in subsequent years.

The marijuana tax money would be used to fund the Department of Corrections' Substance Abuse Treatment Program and community residential centers, each of which would receive $500,000; the Department of Health and Social Services' Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery Grants, which would receive $1 million; and the Department of Public Safety's Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which would also receive $1 million.