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Young: boost transportation, local services funding with marijuana revenues
OLYMPIA — Legislation to bolster funding for transportation and first responders was introduced by new 26th District State Rep. Jesse Young.
Young’s bill would use a portion of tax revenues from marijuana sales for funding for the ferry system, the Tacoma Narrows bridge, and local fire and police departments.
Young (R-Gig Harbor) said he was looking for creative ways to help cash-strapped local governments and the regional transportation system. Marijuana sales tax revenues made sense, he said.
“With the transportation package seemingly stalled, adequate funding for transportation will be hard to come by,” said Young, who sits on the House Transportation Committee. “It’s not good enough for us in Olympia to simply throw our hands up and say ‘maybe next year.’ We need action now, and the new revenues that will come from marijuana offer us a unique way to help out our ferries, and either prevent, or at least offset, potential future toll hikes on the Narrows bridge.”
Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana use by approving Initiative 502 in 2012.
The Washington Liquor Control Board is reviewing applications for marijuana producers, processors and retailers and should begin issuing licenses soon.