Bill would direct some pot taxes to mental health

OLYMPIA — Lawmakers are considering a measure that would put some of the taxes that will potentially be gained from the state’s new legal marijuana industry into mental health programs.

The Senate Committee on Human Services &Corrections held a public hearing on the bill, Senate Bill 6481, on Monday. The News Tribune of Tacoma reported that the measure would put 10 percent of the money into mental health programs, including those that also treat drug addiction.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, a Republican from Tacoma. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles has also signed on to the measure.

Washington voters passed Initiative 502 in November 2012 to legalize and regulate the recreational use of pot by adults over 21, and the first state-licensed pot stores are expected to open in the coming months.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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