To say that Oklahoma public education has been in dire straits for as long as anyone can remember would be the understatement to rule them all. At this point, you’d think our public schools would be thrilled to accept any source of funding to come their way.
Apparently, that is not the case.
Via High Times:
Even as the press reports on Oklahoma’s public education budgetary woes, it appears that not all schools are open to accepting all donations. A marijuana dispensary chain was surprised to have their monetary gift to Ponca City Public Schools rejected.
The district’s superintendent Shelly Arrott released a media statement that said the rejection was due to nervousness over how the donation would affect federal funding.
“Accepting donations from a medical marijuana dispensary is uncharted territory for Oklahoma school districts in relation to federal funding sources,” she said. “At this time, the district cannot risk compromising these funding sources which are relied on heavily for the education of students.”
Well, I’d sure hate for all that dirty drug money to filter into the cracks of the crumbling, unsustainable infrastructure buttressing America’s 49th U.S. state for education. It’s a slippery slope: Next thing you know, schools might start accepting funds from the spoils of gambling and the destruction of the environment and depletion of the planet’s natural resources. Whoops…wait.
Ponca City, wake up and smell the bud. Medicinal marijuana is here and — unlike your shitty D.A.R.E program — you can’t just say no.
“If it’s OK for them to take tax money from this industry, why not be able to take money straight from this industry?” asked Corey Fisher [an owner of the MMJ business attempting to make the donation]. “We were just kind of confused and alarmed that in a school district that is constantly underfunded, we’re willing to walk in there, and [say], ‘Hey, I can write you a personal check,’ […] and they just declined.”
Fisher was referring to the fact that in Oklahoma, 75 percent of surplus medical cannabis tax revenue is received by the public school system. He rightly asked why, then, wouldn’t they take the cash directly from a dispensary?
In its bullshit excuse for rejecting the cannabis cash, the school blamed fear of losing federal funding. But public schools in Oklahoma and many other states already receive money from the marijuana industry in the form of tax revenue — and not one school in the country has managed to lose federal funding as a result.
Adding insult to injury, the day after Ponca City refused the donation, this headline rang out across Oklahoma: “Lack of Funding Creates ‘Disparity’ in School Safety In Oklahoma.” How fucking resentful will these kids be that instead of a properly funded education in a safe environment, they got lip service from the same hypocrites that stole their collective futures.
As a senior at the University of Oklahoma, I can relate.
Reefer madness and rampant ignorance run deep in these waters — ironically, both are things a little education can cure. Progress has never been easy, but the complete decriminalization of marijuana (and death of all associated stigmas) is a slow moving train that won’t be stopped. We can only hope the bureaucrats in public education will get on board.