A stack of cash collected from a Colorado marijuana store sits on a table at a security firm in this file photo. Marijuana businesses in Colorado have generated about $63 million in taxes in 2014, the first year of legal recreational marijuana sales.(Photo: Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY)DENVER – Colorado’s marijuana users are helping to buy new roofs, boilers and security upgrades for public schools across the state as the first round of special pot taxes gets allocated later this year.The state’s voters in 2012 legalized pot sales – and taxed them heavily – in part because the constitutional amendment promised that $40 million dollars a year would go toward school construction across the state. In the first full year of sales, however, the state expects to collect only about $17 million in special school taxes levied on the marijuana industry. Still, it’s better than what the state collected the year before: nothing.”The people who were smoking marijuana before legalization still are. Now, they’re paying taxes,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said.Overall, Colorado collected about $63 million in marijuana taxes in 2014 on an industry worth about $700 million. Much of that tax money goes directly into the state’s general fund, not into the specific school-construction account. The school-construction money comes from a 15% tax levied on wholesale sales from growers to recreational marijuana retailers. Much of the rest of the tax money is being dedicated toward drug-abuse education, research and substance abuse treatment. Because Colorado was the first state to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales, lawmakers across the country are closely watching its experiences.”It is money we’re trying to put to good use,” said Sen. Pat Steadman, a Democrat and member of the Colorado Legislature’s budget-writing committee. “We had no tax money to combat these ills when it was being sold illegally.”A copy of a receipt from a Denver marijuana store shows the taxes paid on the transaction. (Photo: Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY)A delegation of Vermont policymakers visited Denver this month as the Green Mountain State considers legalization, the latest in a string of visitors curious to better understand how Colorado is handling the end … – Click Here To Visit Article Source