As cities and counties all across Colorado bring in extra money from marijuana sales, several places are seeing that money go towards improvements in the city’s infrastructure.
In Trinidad, the more-than-anticipated 2.9 million dollars in revenue from marijuana is partially going towards the police department, to equip them with more weapons.
‘That [marijuana revenue] was considerably more than what we expected,’ said Greg Sund, City Manager of Trinidad, who added that AR-15’s are becoming standard equipment for police departments all across the nation.
Trinidad police officers brought up needing the weapons during labor union negotiations last fall.
‘I don’t think it changes the way they do their job it would just give them 1 more tool if they face a situation where that weapon’s needed,’ said Sund.
The city plans to allocate $13,000 to equip about 25 officers with an AR-15 in their vehicle.
Sund says some SWAT officers have been using their own personal rifles on the job.
‘I would prefer that they would be a standard issue weapons rather than expecting officers to individually invest in them,’ said Sund.
Part of the reason for using the marijuana sales tax revenue is that it’s the city’s most flexible account as of now.
‘it’s way easier to dedicate it to 1-time purchases and short term purchases,’ said Sund.
The city believes the marijuana revenue fund needs to mature over time before it can rely on it as a steady funding source.
‘The one thing we’re avoiding doing with that money is putting it into the general budget,’ said Sund.
Other plans for the marijuana revenue include the construction of a building at Monument lake, and improvements to streets in Trinidad.
As of now, there’s no set date on when officers will receive the AR-15’s.